The Sherpa are a Tibetan-speaking people who moved into the valleys of eastern Nepal in the middle of the sixteenth century. They survived as traders transporting goods by Yak across the Himalayas, linking the markets of China to Nepal and India. Today mountaineering and tourism have become major industries profoundly affecting their way of life. Successful traders in the past and today businessmen enjoy a big man status. The Sherpa practice a form of Mahayana Buddhism, which supports a significant population of monks.
- Central Asia