chapter  3
15 Pages

The setting; far-west Nepal and the two field sites

WithMatthew Maycock

The far-western Terai (or southern plain) of Nepal is an often-overlooked part of the country, but this is a region that has specific connections (and disconnections) to the Nepali state and regional influences. The proximity of this region to the Indian border is a critical cultural and economic factor in shaping lives in this region. An ethnographic outline of the context and the histories of both field sites is included in this chapter. These contexts are critical in shaping post-bondage masculinities, as these two sites have different post-bondage experiences of land ownership and security following freedom in 2000. This and the subsequent four chapters include various case studies of Kamaiya men facilitating a more in-depth and gender-specific analysis of freedom. This chapter examines the experiences of a Kamaiya man owning land for the first time.