About Me

       I was born in Washington, D.C., raised mostly in Cincinnati and left my country for permanent residence in Asia in autumn, 1972. I lived in South Korea for four years, then Nepal for eleven years and since the beginning of 1988 my home base has been Chiang Mai. But I don’t stay there all year, for I still make regular research trips to Yunnan, China, Vietnam and other neighboring places.
     While in Nepal I worked with ethnic minorities, specifically Mizos from Northeast India and Newars from Bhaktapur, in vegetable-dyed textile production. In Thailand I have worked with the Akha people in traditional handicrafts production in the northern hills. Besides acquiring new labor skills—I was the dyer and designer—the work gave me valuable insights into the different cultural norms and ways of thinking of traditional societies in this region. 
     My writing and photography reflects my fascination with history, traditional cultures and ethnic minorities, not just in the ethnologies, cultural studies and histories I’ve published, but in my fiction and poetry as well. I have published books in Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, China and Vietnam. Recently I have ventured into publishing e-books and won’t have to wait for publishers to decide whether and when. Considering the great amount of material I have collected over the years, to me this means I can be sure there will be more books to come.

Please visit my Author's Page on Amazon.


  1. Hi Jim, I'm a PhD student studying Newar folktales and literature. I can't track down an e-mail address for you, but I would love to chat sometime about your book, Tales of Old Bhaktapur. You can contact me at amyraye@outlook.com. Many thanks, Amy.

  2. Dear Jim,
    I am a PhD student of anthropology who is about to start fieldwork with the Akha in northern Laos. I would like to ask you a couple of questions about Akha language based on your "Meet the Akhas" book. Like the PhD student writing above, I cannot track your email. Could you please contact me at g.ongaro@lse.ac.uk? Many thanks.

  3. Hello Jim,
    I am a PhD student off anthropology in France, and I am working about the UNESCO label's impacts on the Hani traditions and way of life in the Ailoa mountains.
    Do their traditions and knowledge will survive to the invasion of tourists in their native area? I would love to have a chat about this topic with you, here is my mail adress: rapha3110@hotmail.fr
    Hope I'll hear from you soon,

  4. i am coming only two weeks next august to do a trip in which i want to enter in touch as most aspossible with minorities there...considering its not enough time at all, which part of yunnan and which the most interesting minorities do you suggest me to try to enter in contact with, and where and how exactly?

  5. I am an American writer who has published a great deal concerning China. Now I'm working on a book on China's covered bridges. I've traveled extensively throughout China and recently in Tengchong and Dali Prefecture for the book. I've come across several French postcards of the Pont de Posi (Pousi-Hi), which apparently no longer exists. It may be in Boxi in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture (or a couple other locations I've spotted). Do you know of these postcards? I can share them with you if you write to me Ronald Knapp knappr@newpaltz.edu or rknapp2@hvc.rr.com Many thanks.