Accepted paper:

Who continues the weaving of woolen rug ? : A case of the village of sheep herders of East Nepal

Authors:

Kazuyuki Watanabe (Ritsmeikan University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to analyze who continue rug weaving, Expansion of migrant workers create a short of labor and people connected to the wool supply chain, and people who can expect family supports, continue making rugs in spite of reducing dependency on other form of income.

Paper long abstract:

In southern slopes of the Himalayan countries, sheep herders graze Barwar sheep for their transhumance. This sheep is known for its coarse wool, which is not suitable for making carpet or knitting. The wool, however, is good for making felt because it will easily change into felt when it is washed. People of the Rumjatar, a village of transhumant sheep herders of East Nepal, developed rug weaving, which is intended not only for self-consumption, but also to sell for cash products. Weaving of woolen rugs is women's work. The Gurung women engage in rug making, however the number of weavers has been decreasing for the last ten years. This paper aims to analyze the change in the numbers of rug weavers and reasons for continuing rug weaving. I will show how the supply chain of wool and the family support system sustains the making of woolen rugs. As a result, close proximity to supply network is a more important factor for the continuity of rug making than economical factors. By expansion of overseas migrant workers to the village, and the diversification of source of cash income, labor shortages have become a serious problem for village women. So, people connected the wool supply chain, and people who can expect family support, continue making rugs in spite of reducing dependency on other form of income.

panel MMM09
The emerging world of pastoralists and nomads (IUAES Commission on Nomadic Peoples)