Home Institution

Middlebury College

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change


This study examines the ways the Sherpa identity has been commoditized for a Western audience, the Sherpa responses to such a process and the repercussions it creates when understanding Sherpa cultural “authenticity.” Located in Kathmandu and the Solukhumbu district of Nepal, the findings were acquired through interviews with various members of the Sherpa community, discourse analysis and observation. This research concludes that the Sherpa community views their cultural commoditization as both a source of discredit and honor, creating difficulty in rationalizing how it both de-authenticates and re-asserts their Sherpa culture.


Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Sociology of Culture