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Andrea Baldeck is a photographer, a traveller, a musician, and a physician. She made four journeys to the Himalayas and collected photographs from these journeys into the book Himalaya: Land of the Snow Lion. The photos showcase the rugged landscape of the mountains, the villages, dwellings, and monasteries, and the people of the region.
The book is over 240 pages, printed on thick paper, and almost completely filled with photographs. Interspersed within are six short one-page essays that give some context to the photographs, describing the people, the culture, the religions and beliefs, and how they all fit together in the region, sometimes peacefully and sometimes less so.
Himalaya: Land of the Snow Lion is one of those books that helps people appreciate another culture, or multiple other cultures, even when there is little chance of ever traveling to the locations and learning about them first hand. Baldeck’s photographs take us into the region, into the lives of the people. We get to see a little of their culture, some of their traditions, and some of the beautiful artwork and architecture that reflects the culture and beliefs of the region.
I believe this book will appeal to anyone interested in the cultures throughout the Himalayas. It takes us on a short visual excursion through this region. The photos are ones I would expect to see in an issue of National Geographic. They do a great job of visually telling the story of the people, showing wide landscape views of the region, taking us to the dwellings and monasteries, showing the people both in portraits, in their daily lives, and at festivals. They also zoom in to show details, from a ladder leaning against a hut, to the contents of a table, to details of sculptures and architecture. If any of these things appeal to you then seek out a copy of Himalaya: Land of the Snow Lion by Andrea Baldeck.