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The last nomadic people of Nepal

The nomadic Rautes are the last hunters-gatherers of the Himalayas. The Rautes, who call themselves Kings of Forests, subsist on langur and macaque monkeys, wild yams, rice and a few kinds of vegetables traded from local farmers. Their main occupation is to trade and exchange of wooden items in nearby villages and bazaars. They migrate from river valleys up to middle hills in the Western parts of Nepal living in temporary camps hidden away from the villages in remote parts of the forests.

The Rautes around one of the many fireplaces in the camp. No one is handling wood and fire as the Rautes, who call themselves the Kings of Forests.

The nomadic Rautes belong nowhere and everywhere, and they have their own language, culture and beliefs. The Rautes believe in the sun God Berh that represents eternity. The Rautes have managed to avoid forcible assimilation and have not settled in villages and adopted Hindu beliefs and practices.  Instead, they continue their traditional life travelling through the forests of Western Nepal.

Mother and child.


The Rautes continue to maintain a certain degree of secrecy and avoidance towards assimilation, in order to keep their identity and to survive as a distinct community.

A family at home. The Rautes migrate through the remote forests of Western Nepal and are living in tents. Kapil who is lying at the back as got serious burns and is slowly recovering.
A young Raute woman cutting trees. The Rautes make a few different types of wooden products, which they trade in nearly villages and bazaars.
A rautes cutting trees near the camp located in a remote place in the district of Accham in Western Nepal.
Raute women carrying water to the camp.

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