The wildest and most remote district in Bhutan, Lunana is no Shangri-La, but a cold, hard frontier where only the strongest survive. The men spend much of the year away from home, trading, driving the yak, traveling for pilgrimage or warmer weather.
The Lunana women, taller and bigger boned, are not like their Laya sisters. Most Laya women have sing-song voices and giggle like girls, flipping their long hair and adjusting their hats and jewelry in a coquettish little dance. With shorter hair and clothes less stylized and traditional, the Lunana zam move with the powerful grace of big cats and talk with voices deep and direct. They don’t care if you’re the governor or a blacksmith—they’re rude and tell you what they think. And they can carry a yak’s load across their high mountain passes.