The Ancient Art of Honey Hunting in Nepal
The Gurange tribes of Nepal have been collecting honey from Himalayan cliffs for centuries. The Gurung are master honey hunters, risking their lives collecting honeycomb using nothing more than handmade rope ladders and long sticks known as tangos.
Most of the honey bees’ nests are located on steep, inaccessible, southwest facing cliffs to avoid predators and for increased exposure to direct sunlight.
Aside from the dangers of falling, they are harvesting honey from the largest honey bees in the world. The Himalayan honey bee can grow up to 3 cm in length.
Before a hunt can commence, the honey hunters are required to perform a ceremony to placate the cliff gods. This involves sacrificing a sheep, offering flowers, fruits and rice, and praying to the cliff gods to ensure a safe hunt.
Photographer Andrew Newey spent two weeks living with the Gurung in central Nepal, documenting the risks and skill involved in this dying tradition.
Opening this Saturday, March 8th at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles, California is Andrew Hem’s solo show “Dream But Don’t Sleep.” Hem’s style is a one of a kind, immediate aesthetic signature that pursues the dreamlands that have resulted from his upbringing in a war torn Cambodia as well as the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. The work presented here in “Dream But Don’t Sleep" seems to find Andrew at his best yet and poises him as one of the leaders in New Contemporary art.