Published: April 6, 2022
Miller Poster

Searching for Grass and Water: Nomads of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalaya

Please join us for the opening reception of Daniel Miller’s exhibition and talk on 'Searching for Grass and Water: Nomads of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalaya' in Norlin Library’s Underground West Gallery hosted by the University Libraries in partnership with the Tibet Himalaya Initiative and the Center for Asian Studies.

The exhibit will showcase approximately 30 photographs of Miller’s from over four decades of photographing Tibetan pastoralists, as well as a number of the libraries' resources contextualizing the work. The exhibit will open April 12, 2022 and will remain open to the public through May 27, 2022.

Following the exhibit’s installation, the Tibet Himalaya Initiative will host an opening reception and artist talk on Wednesday, April 13, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Center for British and Irish Studies (CBIS) on the 5th floor of Norlin, where Miller will present on his work. 


About the exhibit:

An estimated two million people practice transhumant pastoralism on the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalaya. Pastoral cultures are not well known and they face numerous threats to their ways of life. This exhibition reveals their perspectives on life as they roll their homes up in bundles and lash them to the back of yaks and move across vast landscapes.

The world of Tibetan pastoralists is marked by the ability to move in search of grass and water for their livestock and operates on a rhythm different from that of industrialized urban centers.  Constantly exposed to the elements of nature —  rain, snowstorms and drought —  pastoralists have an intimate knowledge of their environment and an amazing ability to handle animals, a skill rare among most people today. 

However, Tibetan nomads didn’t merely eke out a living; they created a unique culture and were part of a remarkable civilization that was the most powerful empire in Asia over 1,300 years ago. 


About the Author: 

Daniel Miller started taking photographs of Tibetan herders in Nepal as an American Peace Corps Volunteer over forty years ago. As a rangeland ecologist and livestock specialist, he has worked with pastoralists throughout the Himalaya, Tibetan Plateau and Mongolian Steppe. His photographs have been displayed in Kathmandu, Beijing and New Delhi. Searching for Grass and Water provides a visual record of Tibetan herders over four decades. As such, Miller’s images serve as a documentary on nomads  in the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau and their vanishing way of life, adding to our understanding of a remarkable landscape and an extraordinary culture.