Spirit Sisters - Women of the Ladakhi by Jimmy Nelson

Ladakhi woman
Before They are Pass Away - Jimmy Nelson

There are a tribe of Spirit Sister medicine dolls that birthed this year that have been very ancient and beautiful and I have often asked them 'where are you from?' Recently I saw the amazing photographs of Jimmy Nelson in his book Before They Pass Away and found the lineage of these particular dolls. I understand now they are Ladakhi and I can't wait to learn and understand more about these adorned and mysterious medicine women. 
"Ladakh (meaning โ€˜land of the passesโ€™) is a cold desert in the Northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is divided into the mainly Muslim Kargil district and the primarily Buddhist Leh district. The people of Ladakh have a rich folklore, some of which date back to the pre- Buddhist era." Jimmy Nelson

"Festivals and celebrations are unmissable opportunities for the Ladakh to
display goncha, the traditional dress. Typical costumes include gonchas of
velvet, elaborately embroidered waistcoats and boots and hats. Well-to-do
Ladakhi women have a striking and opulent appearance." Jimmy Nel
son