In central Bhutan, south of Trongsa, scattered on the slopes of the Mangde Chhu valley, live the Monpas, believed to be the first inhabitants of Bhutan. Spiritual guidance is a blend of animistic Shamanism and Buddhism and livelihood depends on the bounty of the forest. A close-knit people, they live in small bamboo thatch huts and also larger traditional homes. Monpas believe that sickness is caused by evil spirits and bad karma and prefer superstitious and traditional cures.
Tribal Trust Foundation
An advocate for indigenous peoples, the Tribal Trust Foundation (TTF) has been documenting ancient ways of life before they disappear, for nearly twenty years. The TTF has helped complete various media projects to use as tools for cultural preservation, which saves lives and revitalizes endangered cultures. These projects include documentation of the way of life of the San Bushmen in Namibia, the Mbuti in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Monpas of Central Bhutan.
The Monpa have lived sustainable in the Himalaya for thousands of years. The elders are concerned their language and customs are disappearing as change is forced upon them. The TTF partnered with the Tarayana Foundation to document the Monpa Natural Healer’s ancient wisdom and also implement grassroots sustainable projects with the Monpa.