Carroll Dunham


Medical anthropologist Carroll Dunham has been based in Nepal for the past 30 years studying Buddhism, spending the last 17 summers living with her family among nomads in the Khangai mountains of Mongolia, exploring Bronze Age horse culture. Author of four books, she has explored deeply the feminine divine in South Asian history and culture. She has produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic, PBS, the BBC, and others on subjects ranging from Living Goddesses to polyandry, nomadism, and geology. She has worked with female immolations at a hospital burn unit and has delved extensively into the history of women’s relationship to fire and sacrifice in the Hindu world. On the board of the Nekorpa Foundation, which preserves sacred pilgrimage sites and traditions, Carroll has a keen interest in environmental conservation issues regarding sacred spaces of South Asia. A practitioner of yoga and ayurveda, committed to fostering income generation among marginalized women so they may support their families' health and education, Carroll has formulated ayurvedic products for The Body Shop and founded Wild Earth, a sustainable social enterprise producing handcrafted herbal products in the Himalaya. Carroll is a storyteller at heart, fascinated by the human story of diversity revealed in life rites and rituals. Engaged as a social entrepreneur working with women’s cooperatives, engagement through cross cultural trade in herbs and textiles, makes her passionate about ancient Silk Road trade. Inspired by early Silk Road traders to better understand Bactrian camels and their relationship to humans and the environment, she is embarking on a winter expedition in the Gobi desert on Bactrian camels.