THE SHERPA AND AN EVOLVING MOUNTAIN LANGUAGE
The Sherpa once lived as cattle herders and farmers, while also engaging in iweaving and salt trading, as high aaltitude nomads. Yet, after the discovery of Everest for its size, the Sherpa then begain to focus on tourism and related trade. Now, the populace largely focuses on this industry to sustain its economy.
While the average annual salary for Nepalis is apprixmately $50 USD, during the summer months, a mountain guide can earn money inthe vicinity of $40,000 USD. Here, the families of the guide and the tourists expect a high level of skill and hence knowledge of the region, as Everest is of the most dangerous places in the world. This requirement has shaped both current cultural practice and language.