The Kings Of The Forest – Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

Hidden deep in the Himalayan forest is one of the world’s last enduring nomadic tribes who are resisting attempts to move them into permanent settlements. The Raute tribe has no permanent home and frequently moves between camps. Living as hunter-gatherers and eating the meat of langur and macaque monkeys – a controversial choice in the Hindu dominated country of Nepal, where monkeys are considered to be the reincarnation of the God Hanuman. With the assistance of a local journalist, Danish photographer Jan Møller Hansen spent three days in January 2016 travelling from Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu into a remote forest in Accham District, Nepal to document the isolated group – who call themselves the Kings of the Forest.

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When a Raute dies they are buried in the forest in an upright position, their skull is also pierced to release their spirit into heaven:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

A young Raute baby peeks out of her shroud:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

To enter the Raute community visitors must give something back to the community:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

In the wet monsoon season the Raute people move to high altitudes and in dryer winters they migrate to lower subtropical forests:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

Children gather around a small fire underneath one of the Raute’s tents:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

Many of the Raute people have been resettled by the Government of Nepal but this remaining nomadic tribe continues to resist the change:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

No outsiders are permitted to stay inside their camps overnight or accompany them on hunting trips:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

Only 156 people remained in the tribe when Jan visited in Accham District, Nepal:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

The Raute people are nomadic and move between camps based on the seasons:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

The Raute rely heavily on monkey meat and on the plant life provided by the forest:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

The Raute people are primarily hunter-gatherers but they also build wooden furniture for trading with other local villages:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

When a Raute dies they are buried in the forest in an upright position, their skull is also pierced to release their spirit into heaven:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

A young Raute girl poses for a portrait in the midst of the small camp:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

In the wet monsoon season the Raute people move to high altitudes and in dryer winters they migrate to lower subtropical forests:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

If someone dies in the community they immediately pack up and move to a new site to avoid evil spirits:

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

The Kings Of The Forest - Photographer Spent 3 Days In Nepal To Document The Isolated Tribe
Jan Moller Hansen/Barcroft Images

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