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Colgate University

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


This paper is an investigation of the changing trade in Humla, one of the most remote regions in Nepal. I particularly focus on the road being built from the village of Hilsa, which lies on the border of China and Nepal, to Simikot, the main town. This road will be accessible by all the villagers who live on the link trail now – the trail they walk on with their animals in order to reach the border site. Trade is especially important in Humla; there are no roads available to get there from the Nepal side, so everything must be flown in by propeller plane, or bought in Purang in China, and carried back to the village with the help of animals such as zopas and horses. By having conversations with shopkeepers, businessmen, and villagers, I hoped to gain insight into how their lives will be affected by the completion of this road, how they have adapted to live in Humla thus far, and how they will adapt to survive once the road brings new economic changes. Sections of this paper include voices from the villages of Muchu and Khangalgaun, and opinions of businessmen working in the Tumkot Bazaar. It also includes an important section that discusses what might happen when the road ultimately enforces modernization. This paper highlights the positive and negative effects of this new road, and also discusses the Tumkot Bazaar and its shopkeepers, noting what will happen to this bazaar once the road is completed.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Growth and Development | Work, Economy and Organizations


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