National Geographic : 1993 Dec
Bent under the weight of her worldly goods, a young Rong-pa shepherd carries provisions for her six-month journey; a goatskin mattress and an ax for chopping wood ensure that her nights will be warm. To protect against frostbite during the winter quest for Indiansalt, the Rong-pa wrap their shoes in woolen rags (below). Feeling their way up worn steps, sheep and goats follow the leader along a cliff's edge (right). On the narrow trail cara vanners must constantly adjust the saddlebags; the weight of shifting cargo can throw the animals off balance and send them tumbling over the side.
1993 Nov 30