Documenting Seke Stories
The recordings promise to touch on a wide range of issues in Seke history and Seke life, for which there are very few records. Much of what is now Loke-speaking Baragaon (the lower part of Upper Mustang) may also once have been Seke-speaking, too. Rapid change has engulfed Mustang in the last few decades, between major outmigration, the opening of the area to tourists, the loss of much of the area’s traditional independence, and the inroads made by Nepali culture. Today’s Seke-speaking elders are not only the last generation who know the language fully, they are also the last who remember the older lifeways of Seke speakers, from horsemanship to dzong-building to civic rituals to grazing animals. The corpus we are building will stand as a major ethnographic resource for understanding a traditional Himalayan community.
This collection focuses on the Seke varieties of five villages of the Mustang District in northern Nepal, particularly Chuksang.
Language information Seke, a little-documented Tibeto-Burman language of the Tamangic branch, has at most 700 speakers from five villages of the Mustang District in northern Nepal. Today the language is highly endangered, with few speakers under 40 years old, large-scale outmigration of all but the elderly, and even older speakers shifting to Nepali.
Acknowledgement and citation