This study has sought to account for the rise of the Nyishangba as international long-distance traders through a structured geohistorical description. In contrast to much formal theory, in which structure is thought of as given, and therefore determines the explanatory variables in advance, the structure of a particular geohistory only arises while unfolding. Structures in this perspective are not seen as static and durable, but as variable and concordant with historical change. They only acquire meaning through the particular geohistorical experience of human groups. Such an approach implies a long-term rather than a short-term perspective on societal change. The questions that arise are consequently less concerned with what society now is than with how society becomes or has become (Blok 1974:XXIX). Thus, geohistorical inquiry is the search for structure in societal flux, and in terms of regional geography, the identification of a particular regionality as defined in chapter 3. The gain of such an approach is that our fixation on particular would-be explanatory variables becomes less, that we appreciate more the continuous interplay of empirical observation and 'theoretical' structuration, and that hidden vistas are the reward for a certain openness of mind. However, the proof of the pudding remains the eating, and I will try to show in the following section that there is a surplus value in the approach as outlined above. To that end, I will briefly mention several explanations offered so far in the literature for the rise of a number of Tibeto-Himalayan trading communities. At the same time I will try to make it clear that these statements vary in explanatory force according to place and time. By extending our discussion into the realm of a geohistorically structured regionality, we come more fully to appreciate the contextual character of these explanatory variables. This will be briefly shown for the Nyishangba of Manang, which after all provided the raison d'etre for this study. Finally, I will

return to the two research questions as formulated in chapter 1 and see whether on the basis of the interpretation of the facts given in this study and the concepts used suitable answers can be provided.