Arunachal Pradesh - India (1-15 March 2017)
Local Workshop: Dirang
The Brogpas of Monpa community
According to the NRCY, the Brogpa herders are among the poorest of the all the ethnic groups in Arunachal Pradesh. Many of them are illiterate and continue pursuing a transhumant way of life between the forest and alpine tundra areas of the Himalayan mountains.
Most of the yak herders live in Tawang district, where the highest mountains are found. Other notorious section of Brogpas live in Dirang circle, established around a sort of precarious setlements or huts up to 2500-3000 meters. They follow the usual seasonal movement, going up in the warmer months in search of the higher pasturelands and descending since Autumn until the end of winter to the forest. The number of yaks per household varies between 20 to 200, but Brogpas largely depend upon yak husbandry, since farming is very limited and could be considered as examples of shifting cultivation. Ocasionally, Brogpa herders combine yak husbandry with hunting, which is illegal, but also a way to compensate the lack of calories in their diet. Since their lives are mainly developed in a forested area, they use the natural resources provided by forest, including
wood as combustible for cooking and heating, therefore yak dung is less used than in other parts of the Himalayas, which contributes in the other side to repopulate forest.