Tigers of the snow and other virtual Sherpas : an ethnography of Himalayan encounters / Vincanne Adams.

Adams, Vincanne, 1959- [Browse]
  • Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [1996]
  • ©1996
1 online resource (255 pages)


Summary note
Sherpas are portrayed by Westerners as heroic mountain guides, or "tigers of the snow," as Buddhist adepts, and as a people in touch with intimate ways of life that seem no longer available in the Western world. In this book, Vincanne Adams explores how attempts to characterize an "authentic" Sherpa are complicated by Western fascination with Sherpas and by the Sherpas' desires to live up to Western portrayals of them. Noting that diplomatic aides at world summit meetings go by the name "Sherpa," as do a van in the U.K. built for rough terrains and a software product from Silicon Valley, Adams examines the "authenticating" effects of this mobile signifier on a community of Himalayan Sherpas who live at the base of Mount Everest, Nepal, and its "deauthenticating" effects on anthropological representation. This book speaks not only to anthropologists concerned with ethnographic portrayals of Otherness but also to those working in cultural studies who are concerned with ethnographically grounded analyses of representations. Throughout Adams illustrates how one might undertake an ethnography of transnationally produced subjects by using the notion of "virtual" identities. In a manner informed by both Buddhism and shamanism, virtual Sherpas are always both real and distilled reflections of the desires that produce them.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references (pages [289]-297) and index.
Source of description
Description based on print version record.
  • Introduction: Lament for Pasang
  • Ch. 1. Sherpas in Mirrors
  • Ch. 2. Making Modern Sherpas
  • Ch. 3. Buddhist Sherpas as Others
  • Ch. 4. The Intimacy of Shamanic Sherpas
  • Ch. 5. Seduction and Simulative Power in the Himalayas: Staying Sherpa
  • Conclusion: Virtual Sherpas in Circulation
  • Appendix A Khentse Rinpoche Lecture, Tengboche, 1987
  • Appendix B Exerpts from "The Stages of Repelling Demons Based on the Heart Sutra, the Summary of the Vast, Intermediate, and Condensed Mothers"
  • Appendix C Musings on Textuality and Truth
  • Appendix D Production/Seduction.
9781400851775 ((electronic bk.))
  • 10.1515/9781400851775
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