Human Geography

Download Geographical Diversions: Tibetan Trade, Global Transactions by Tina Harris PDF

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By Tina Harris

Operating on the intersections of cultural anthropology, human geography, and fabric tradition, Tina Harris explores the social and monetary adjustments occurring alongside one alternate path that winds its method throughout China, Nepal, Tibet, and India.

How may possibly we make connections among possible mundane everyday life and extra summary degrees of world swap? Geographical Diversions specializes in generations of investors who trade items similar to sheep wool, pang gdan aprons, and extra lately, loved ones home equipment. Exploring how investors "make places," Harris examines the construction of geographies of alternate that paintings opposed to kingdom principles of what exchange routes should still appear like. She argues that the tensions among the obvious fixity of nationwide limitations and the mobility of neighborhood contributors round such regulations are accurately how routes and histories of exchange are produced.

The fiscal upward push of China and India has acquired cognizance from the overseas media, however the results of significant new infrastructure on the intersecting borderlands of those nationstates―in areas like Tibet, northern India, and Nepal―have infrequently been coated. Geographical Diversions demanding situations globalization theories in accordance with bounded conceptions of realms and provides a smaller-scale point of view that differs from many theories of macroscale monetary switch.

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Extra resources for Geographical Diversions: Tibetan Trade, Global Transactions

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At the same time that we are reminded about the power relations involved in the actual practice of state- or government-led exploration and the subsequent creation of a map of a region or a route, there seems to be a certain state-based conjuring taking place, entangled with the magic and mystery of exploring the unknown. “What seems crucial here is what this tells us about the state; how it needs this theater with its magic, but needs it disguised as science, and how important the domination of nature is to such theater” (Taussig 2004: 198).

Shuttlers,” who travel with their goods, and “trader-retailers,” who have the money to purchase a small shop in addition to their trading activities; Humphrey 1999: 37–38). I am more concerned with how the stratified “degrees” of trading specialization or identity may emerge from stories and experiences along the trade route and embody tensions between mobility and fixity. As we shall see, there are trading elites, such as the three wealthy Tibetan families from the Kham region of Tibet who held the monopoly over wool.

And although the influence and transformation of Buddhist practices in Tibetan-speaking Himalayan communities has until recently remained a dominant theme in work concerning the area, this book centers instead on the contemporary economic history and shifting geographies of Tibet and the Himalayas. Such a focus is intended to suggest that the struggle over the control of trade routes and economic networks has been a crucial factor in the production of the history and geography of the region. To take a few widely separated examples, the development of eighth-century Silk Road trade routes to Lhasa facilitated the passage of religious tribute caravans; the British invasion of Tibet in 1904 was partly prompted by Britain’s declining control over trade and its colonial properties; and the Tibetan Trade Delegation, formed around the time of Indian independence in 1947, served to promote the idea of Tibet as an independent nation while at the same time ostensibly exploring trade agreements with India, China, and the United States (Cammann 1970; Klimburg 1982; Shakabpa 1967).

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