Singing Goatherds

Herds of goats, yaks, ponies, donkeys, and cattle are passing through the area of Tso Moriri Lake in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, India, on the way to their winter pastures.

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The field beside the lake is full of animals, along with their owners/shepherds. They will remain there for about 15 days, and eat all of the plants in the fields so that the villagers can then plant the newly cleared and fertilized fields with wheat.

I spent a couple of days in Tso Moriri, and it happened to be when the herds were moving through. I went for a walk at sunrise, as the goats were being milked and brought back to the pasture.

I heard the sound of gentle singing as I walked own the path to the field, and looked over the wall. A woman crouched there in the pen with her goats neatly organized as she milked them. The goats were calm and content, not bothered by her easy movements, and soothed by her singing.

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I continued down to the pasture, where another goatherd was bringing his herd out to graze. Over the sounds of their bells, I could hear the low humming of the goatherd as he slowly  walked around them, guiding them where he wanted them to go.

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In a village where there is electricity only from 7pm to 11pm, you notice the little sounds even more, and see the layered relationships between animals, humans, and nature.

 

More photos of the lady milking her goats will be featured in my book, Women in India, provided the Kickstarter campaign is successful. Check out the link here, and share with friends you think may be interested

3 thoughts on “Singing Goatherds

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