A group of senior monks gather for a ceremony on a field outside of Lo Manthang.
The village of Tangge stands on the edge of a Kali Gandaki tributary. Buildings are packed tightly together to help protect the residents from the strong winds that pick up each afternoon.
A group of Loba men gather in the fields outside of Lo Manthang during the planting season.
A group of monks walk through the town of Dhakmar. According to legend, the cliffs were stained red by the blood of a demon slain by a great Buddhist saint.
The King's old palace in Tsarang, viewed from the town's monastery. The palace has not been used in recent years and has begun to fall into disrepair.
The edifice of Choede Gompa, the only monastery in Lo Manthang that houses monks, is striped in red, white and grey-blue, the colors that represent the Sakya sect of Buddhism.
The winter monastery keeper stands for a portrait in the main hall of the monastery in Tetang.
A young man rides his horse down the Kali Gandaki River valley. The valley is the main conduit into and out of the region, and historically was an important section of the Salt Route connecting Tibet and India.
Villagers of Phuwa load bags of fertilizer onto horses to be taken to the fields.
The former king of Lo, Jigme Palbar Bista, still plays an important part during the Tiji Festival. Here he sits with his royal court in the town square to watch the monks perform.
A monk walks through the alleyways of Lo Manthang.
Tashi Dolkar Gurung, a Loba woman, removes gravel from rice near the light of a window in her earthen home in Lo Manthang.
A young monk adjusts his robes.
An elderly Loba man wearing antique sunglasses spins wool in the Chhosher region on the border of Tibet. This area, to the north of Lo Manthang, is extremely restricted and outsiders are not allowed to be in the area past nightfall.
A group of elderly Loba gather in the sun on a warm afternoon in Tsarang. As Loba approach old age, they usually retire from work and dedicate themselves to prayer and meditation.
A young monk blows bubbles during a break from Tiji preparations. The festival is a time of celebration and many Loba travel for days to participate.
Elderly women sit in Lo Manthang to spin prayer wheels and pray together. This is a daily communal ritual for most retired Loba.
During the three-day spectacle of the Tiji Festival, monks dress as different animals, demons and divinities to enact an epic fight between good and evil. In the town square of Lo Manthang, a monk dressed as a skeleton performs an ancient dance accompanied by ceremonial Tibetan Buddhist music.
The Tiji Festival, which occurs yearly in the main square of Lo Manthang, features dancers dressed elaborately as animals, demons, and divinities.
In a staging area inside of the king's palace, a group of monks helps prepare dancers for an upcoming ceremony during the Tiji festival.
At the end of the Tiji festival, members of the king's court gather with their muskets as they prepare to help chase the demon from the city by shooting volley after volley.
Monks emerge from the king's palace and head toward the main square of Lo Manthang during one of the most elaborate of the Tiji festival's dances.
The ruins of the king's former palace and an ancient monastery stand on hilltops beyond the fields and corrals of Lo Manthang.
Loba women wear traditional headdresses called perak for special occasions such as weddings and festivals.
A Loba woman walks kora (clockwise circumambulations) around the city walls of Lo Manthang.
A monk leads a horse between the towns of Ghemi and Dhakmar.
Dzo, yak-cow hybrids, are used in agriculture work in Mustang because of their size and relatively calm temperament.
A nomad family poses for a portrait in their winter valley camp. The nomadic way of life is very difficult and poorly paid. Twenty years ago, a large group of families lived nomadically, but due to decreased precipitation and the closed land border with Tibet, nomads are having a difficult time keeping their herds fed. Only five families still make a living this way in Mustang.
A nomad woman pens baby goats before their mothers return from the fields. Due to climate change and the closed land border with Tibet, nomadic life has become much more difficult. All but five families have settled into villages.
Dhakmar villagers return to the town after a day of working in the fields.
Mustang: Lives and Landscape of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom
Hidden in the rain shadow of the Himalaya in one of the most remote corners of Nepal lies Mustang, or the former Kingdom of Lo. Hemmed in by the world's highest mountain range to the south and an occupied and shuttered Tibet to the north, this tiny Tibetan kingdom has remained virtually unchanged since the 15th century. Today, Mustang is arguably the best preserved example of traditional Tibetan life left in the world.
This essay features a selection of images from the book, Mustang: Lives and Landscape of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is sold by the Vanishing Cultures Project. Proceeds go towards supporting cultural initiatives in Mustang.