The Ends of Kinship
Connecting Himalayan Lives between Nepal and New York
Global South Asia
Published by: University of Washington Press
304 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 8 b&w illus., 2 maps
- ISBN: 9780295747699
- Published: October 2020
For centuries, people from Mustang, Nepal, have relied on agriculture, pastoralism, and trade as a way of life. Seasonal migrations to South Asian cities for trade as well as temporary wage labor abroad have shaped their experiences for decades. Yet, more recently, permanent migrations to New York City, where many have settled, are reshaping lives and social worlds. Mustang has experienced one of the highest rates of depopulation in contemporary Nepal—a profoundly visible depopulation that contrasts with the relative invisibility of Himalayan migrants in New York.
Drawing on more than two decades of fieldwork with people in and from Mustang, this book combines narrative ethnography and short fiction to engage with foundational questions in cultural anthropology: How do different generations abide with and understand each other? How are traditions defended and transformed in the context of new mobilities? Anthropologist Sienna Craig draws on khora, the Tibetan Buddhist notion of cyclic existence as well as the daily act of circumambulating the sacred, to think about cycles of movement and patterns of world-making, shedding light on how kinship remains both firm and flexible in the face of migration. From a high Himalayan kingdom to the streets of Brooklyn and Queens, The Ends of Kinship explores dynamics of migration and social change, asking how individuals, families, and communities care for each other and carve out spaces of belonging. It also speaks broadly to issues of immigration and diaspora; belonging and identity; and the nexus of environmental, economic, and cultural transformation.
The humanity underpinning The Ends of Kinship and the beauty of its writing are bound to inspire new scholars whose motivations for entering the discipline are not strictly intellectual; those looking for an ‘anthropology of care’ need look no further.~Social Anthropology
[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.~New Books Network (NBN)
[A] refreshing mixed-genre narrative about mobility and migration. Craig not only mixes and merges the two writing styles ofﬁction and ethnography, she also makes the subjects of her ethnographic research come alive, just like the characters in herﬁctional stories.~Journal of Asian Studies
This book will hold the attention of anyone interested in Nepal, migration, or diasporic experiences. It is complex yet accessible.~IIAS Newsletter (International Institute for Asian Studies)