The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology

Holding to the Middle Path in Ladakh: Tibetan Plateau

Ernest Atencio

Traditional Ladakhi culture, thriving in a brutal region of the Tibetan Plateau in the isolated northern corner of India, has struck a balance with the natural world and outlived many more complex and technologically sophisticated civilizations through a combination of practical conservation, strong communities and religious wisdom. This centuries- long history of sustainability is threatened by modernization and ill-suited development schemes. This article discusses the effects and local response to these recent pressures from the “outside world” and, in particular, the work of the International Society for Ecology and Culture/Ladakh Project, which has been an exceptionally successful model of “applied anthropology” that has never called itself applied anthropology.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 1, Vol. 18, Spring, 1988 pp 63 – 67

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