Douglas Steakley Photography
These images were taken in May, 2013 on a trip to the remote Mustang region of Nepal. Our trek was planed to coincide with the spectacular and colorful Tiji Festival. Tiji is a three-day ritual known as "The Chasing of The Demons" that stems from the Tiji myth. This myth tells of a deity named Dorje Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Tiji is a celebration and reaffirmation of this myth and throughout the festival the various scenes of the tale are re-enacted with Tibetan dancing and music. During the festival the monks of Lo-Manthang wear old masks and elaborately embroidered costumes for the annual re-enactment of driving away evil and bringing blessings to all mankind for the following year.
In 1992, Mustang was opened to the outside world, allowing visitors to visit Lo-Manthang, the seat of an ancient kingdom dating back to the 15th century.
Mustang was closed to the outside world during the second half of the Twentieth Century because it was a refuge for the Khampas, an ethnic Tibetan group that fought a guerrilla war against the Chinese until they were finally defeated. An excellent book about this period is Mustang, The Forbidden Kingdom, by Michel Peissel.