Sienna R. CraigDec 21, 2020
The Ends of Kinship
Connecting Himalayan Lives Between Nepal and New York
University of Washington Press 2020
In The Ends of Kinship: Connecting Himalayan Lives between Nepal and New York (University of Washington Press, 2020), anthropologist Sienna Craig examines the inter-generational shifts that increasingly transform the Mustang region of northern Nepal, particularly in the face of increased migration. Historically a community engaged in traditional trading and agricultural practices, Mustang and its communities have been radically altered since the 1990s by new modes of life, transnationalism, and (dis)connection. Drawing on 25 years of ethnographic engagement with Mustang and its far-flung diasporic outpost in New York City, the book charts the multiple forces that led to these changes and attends to their ambivalent impacts across time and space. Each section is comprised of one literary short story and one ethnographic chapter, all of which explore the cultural impacts wrought by accelerated migrations and returns. From shifting norms around childbirth to the challenges of living across linguistic divides, from the mobilities that threaten traditional social worlds to the ties that bind communities together, The Ends of Kinship asks how connections among people and to geographic places get forged and reformed through cycles of movement. What emerges is a beautifully rendered account of a community in flux, caught in the interstices between the remote, high-altitude landscapes of windswept Mustang and the bustling, multi-cultural cityscapes of New York City. More information about the book, including a variety of teaching resources, can be found at here.
Sienna Craig is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. She has authored several books and many journal articles in addition to multiple works of creative writing.
Benjamin Linder earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology (2019) from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently serving as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) at Leiden University, the Netherlands