A history of Sherpa
The vernacular has dedicated use of the word "Sherpa" to refer to those accompanying Himalayan expeditions, including the Holders. It is actually wearing the Sherpa people became known. But the term Sherpa refers more precisely an ethnic Nepalese of Tibetan origin, a people who came from the east ... shar (east) and pa (the people).
Around the 1530s, the mountain located in Kham in eastern Tibet, took the road of central Tibet and settled in the plains of Tinkye. The political and social struggles, religious disputes and Mongol invasions shaking while Tibet decided to head to the south and to cross the Himalayas by pass roads in Eastern Nepal, including Lamjura and the Nangpa La, became from a caravan route. They came in high valley the Dudh Kosi.Some families settled at the foot of Mount Everest in the Khumbu while others settled further south and colonized the Pharak and Solu. Arriving in successive waves, other Tibetan groups swelled the ranks of the first Sherpa tribal communities and pushed the limits of their habitat by migrating to Langtang, Helambu and the Rolwaling.
The vagaries of the relief, the harsh climatic conditions, scarcity of arable land came probably limit the expansion of the population sherpa on its original territory. In the nineteenth century, many Sherpa families emigrated to the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara region and Sikkim and the Darjeeling district in West Bengal (India).
The Sherpas are Buddhists. There are several forms of Buddhism throughout the world, families that come from the original Buddhism developments. The Sherpas have chosen the Buddhism of dorjee and they reflect the evildoers of religion Bon (Tibet).
Religion has a very important place in the life of sherpas; the offering to the deities, prayers, donations and supports monks achieve nirvana. Religion dictates certain attitudes and gestures to sherpas; respect for monks and holy places is so very important for the Sherpas. In trekkers also respect these places and the customs of their hosts in order not to offend them. This is not complicated and it is sufficient to observe the behavior of sherpas to adopt a respectful attitude, more Sherpas are quite tolerant as long as they perceive the desire to do the trekker.
Religious monuments are numerous in Nepal, some are of breathtaking beauty and richly decorated, others are much simpler. The various monuments we rencontront trekkers usually are:
The gompas: Some gompa contain populations of monks (lama) or nuns (ani), others are only used for religious ceremonies by village lamas. Village llamas are generally Sherpas who have received religious education in a monastery, but are returned to secular life before their vows. They therefore have no vested their lives to prayer and did not vow of chastity. The construction and operation of the gompas are supported by the faithful of the region. Some gompas are richly decorated, there is always an inner runs for collective prayers and performances at festivals, prayer wheels and a room where met the "treasures" of the gompa: prayer books, clothes and ceremonial instruments, statues of deities ... this room is usually closed by a heavy richly carved door, trekkers can visit it (remove your shoes) and take pictures - it is better to be sure before asking the llama that will open the door.
The chorten:These are actually small stupas found everywhere along the trails on a small ledge, every village has its or chortens. Always pass on the left of a chorten. The chorten is a construct that contains a relic that belonged to a great Lama or prayer or other religious text object of importance for those who built it.
The Chotár: chö = religion = tar mast. These are poles that support prayer flags, hung vertically mast. Since wood is scarce in the Khumbu region, there is little Chotár, most are located near the gompas or inside of them.
The kani: These are porches found at the entrance of some villages. The road leading to the village passes under the porch evil spirits can not pass under the porch and the village is well protected.
The lungta: What we call Western prayer flags. The lungta are hung everywhere, on summits, passes, on the roofs of houses or stupas. The flags are made of cloth of various colors on which are printed mani (prayers) and mantra (esothériques drawing). The wind waving flags, carrying them to the gods for their mantras remember not to forget the people who live down here.
The litho-mani:They are engraved stones with or mani mantra. They are either flat stones deposited near religious buildings or wall are arranged along the path near a kani or shorten. Is very large blocks, several meters high, where the carvings are sometimes painted.
The mani-Korlo. What tourists call "prayer wheels." These are cylinders containing printed sheets of prayers, the skirt of the cylinder can be carved or painted mantra. The rotational movement (turn clockwise) may be given by the prior of the hand or a paddle wheel placed in the current stream. When the mill is running the prayer is addressed to the weather gods.
Tau: These are our cairns, or a set of flat stones that built along mountain paths. Sherpas makes several ribbons away demons and attract gods.