Stone Pastures tells the story of a nomadic family living on the Himalayan plateau of Chanthang. Father Sonam, mother Phuntsok, old uncle Tsewang, and the boys Padma and Kunsang struggle rearing goats that produce pashmina wool, the raw material for fineshawls. The family's survival depends on selling the wool to the dealer, who comes for business once a year. The dealer's money is also needed to pay for the boys' school fees. Education is seen as the way to a more comfortable settled life, but to his family's dismay, the eldest son Padma seems to have little interest in school books.