Sherpa Culture


"A kind of mutual admiration society exists between Sherpas and Westerners, and just why this should be so is an interesting question in itself. What is involved is the set of stereotyped images each group has of the other. Westerners have developed a positive image of Sherpas: that of an egalitarian, peaceful, hardy, honest, polite, industrious, hospitable, cheerful, independent, brave, heroic, compassionate people.... So far as it goes, the image captures one side of the Sherpa personality--but only one side. Like all people, Sherpas wear masks. They have a private, backstage, side that is more unadornedly true to themselves..." from Sherpas: Reflections on Change in Himalayan Nepal by James F. Fisher

In order to discover more about the fascinating Sherpa people, please explore some of the following resources. If in your search, you turn up other interesting website, please feel free to contact us to have this list updated:

1) http://www.everest2000.com/features/sherpas/SherpaSeries_index.html
From Everest2000.com, here is a large series of short articles (with photos) about Sherpa climbers, culture, the question of exploitation by Westerners, etc.

2) http://www.bena.com/sherpa1/sfa/sSherFac.htm
This website includes information on Sherpa history and fact and is put together by the Sherpa Friendship Association.

3) http://www.bena.com/sherpa1/ttt/Him_book/tSherCiv.htm
Also from the Sherpa Friendship Association is a list of books (from their bookstore) that provide further reading on Sherpa culture.

4) http://mtnforum.org/resources/resources.htm#SEARCH
An excellent search engine for all sorts of articles on Sherpas, culture, etc.

5) http://www.everestfilm.com/sherpa_frame.html
MacGillivray Freeman Films' (the company that made the IMAX film about an ascent of Everest in 1996) provides a brief overview of Sherpa culture.

6) http://geography.about.com/science/geography/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.unesco.org/whc/sites/120.htm
Nepalese website for Sagarmatha (Nepalese name for Mt. Everest) National Park