Nepal; Sherpa traders of the Khumbu, 1986
- Carole Reeves
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Nepal; Sherpa traders of the Khumbu display their wares to trekkers and tourists near the bustling town of Namche Bazar (altitude 3446 metres), 1986. There is little real handicraft among the Sherpa people. The beautiful silver drinking cups used in the Khumbu, the silver and stone jewellery, the bright felts and brocades are almost all imported from India or Tibet. One of the most important trading commodities, Tibetan salt, was curtailed in 1959 when China closed the border with Nepal (Nepal has no indigenous salt). However, Tibetan salt was deficient in iodine, and goitre was endemic in hill and mountain villages. In 1969, the Nepalese government instigated a programme whereby iodised salt was distributed to all households.