2014-03-11

Honey hunters of Nepal

Andrew Newey, an award-winning UK-based travel photographer, has captured amazing photographs of central Nepalese Gurung tribe members engaged in a dangerous and ancient tradition of honey hunting. The Gurung honey hunters climb to the top of the cliffs in central Nepal twice a year to collect honey. The same tools their ancestors used were hand-woven rope ladders. 

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Honey hunters of Nepal

Nepal Honey Hunters


They also used tangos, long, sharp bamboo poles to remove the honey-filled hives from the cliff face and place them in baskets below. They then climb up their ladders to collect the honey they have collected after lighting smoke fires at the cliff's base.

Gurung tribe

They are also at risk of falling and harvesting the honey from the largest honeybee colony in the world. The Himalayan honeybee can reach up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in length. The honey bees are approximately 3 cm in length and collect honey from white Rhododendrons in spring. They are protected from predators by the steep rock wall and kept warm by the sun.

Honey hunting is currently under severe threat. As fewer honey bees are available, so is the number of honey hunters. Young people are less likely to remain in their tribe to learn the craft. The greed and corruption of those without respect for Nature are a threat to everything. Andrew Newey, a photographer, was personally involved with this traditional work. Because the filming process is very difficult and risky, few people would choose to do this. Andrew Newey spent two weeks with Gurung during fall harvest to select these images.

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Himalayan cliff honey

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Himalayan hallucinogenic honey

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Himalayan red honey

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Hallucination honey

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Eric valli honey hunters

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Nepalese honey

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Hallucinogenic honey Nepal

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Gurung tribe honey

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Source — Andrew Newey | Theguardian

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