Gurung
Total population
522,641
Languages
Tamu kyi, Manangi,(Mustangi) Loki, and Seke
Religion
Buddhism, Bon, Hinduism
Related ethnic groups
Tamang, Thakali and Sherpa
Gurung Ghatu Dance in Tamu Lhosar festival.
Gurung Ghatu Dance in Tamu Lhosar festival.

The Gurung people, also called Tamu, are an ethnic group in the hills and mountains of Gandaki Province of Nepal.[1] They live in Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Lamjung, Parbat, Dolpo and Syangja, Dhading districts, with a population of 522,641 people as of 2011.[2] They speak the Sino-Tibetan Gurung language.

History

According to their legend, the Gurung were a wandering tribe that traversed west across Tibet prior to their entry into Mustang. Their Tibetan Sojourn pre-dates the introduction of Buddhism there in the 7th century as the Gurung religious traditions are basically animistic. They celebrate their feasts and festivals and carry out the ceremonies and practices related to worship, birth, death and marriage in accordance with the Bon and Buddhist religion.

Losar is the main and biggest festival of Gurung, observed it as a New Year at the end of December, according to the ancient calendar of western Tibet. Their main occupation is animal husbandry, including the raising of sheep and hunting. Lately they have a fame of joining British army and renowned as Gorkha soldier.[3]

Gurung (Ghale) village (Manang)
Gurung (Ghale) village (Manang)

Geographical distribution

Manang
Manang

At the time of the 2011 Nepal census, 522,641 people (2.0% of the population of Nepal) identified as Gurung. The frequency of the Gurung people was higher than national average in the following districts: Manang (52.4%), Lamjung (31.3%), Mustang (21.4%), Gorkha (16.7%), Kaski (16.6%), Tanahun (11.5%), Syangja (9.0%), Dolpa (7.1%), Chitwan (6.8%), Dhading (5.5%), Sankhuwasabha (5.4%), Taplejung (4.6%), Parbat (3.7%), Rasuwa (3.1%), Tehrathum (2.9%), Ilam (2.9%), Kathmandu (2.6%), Nawalparasi (2.4%) and Rupandehi (2.0%).[4]

Religion

See also: Gurung shamanism

Priestly practitioners of the Gurung Dharma include Bon Lam (Lama), Ghyabri (Ghyabring) and Pachyu (Paju).[5] Shamanistic elements among the Gurungs remain strong and most Gurungs often embrace Buddhist and Bön rituals in communal activities.[6][7]

See also


References

  1. ^ Ragsdale, T.A. (1990). "Gurungs, Goorkhalis, Gurkhas: speculations on a Nepalese ethno-history" (PDF). Contributions to Nepalese Studies. 17 (1): 1–24.
  2. ^ Central Bureau of Statistics (2012). National Population and Housing Census 2011 (PDF). Kathmandu: Government of Nepal.
  3. ^ "Indigenous Peoples -Gurung". www.indigenousvoice.com. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  4. ^ 2011 Nepal Census, Social Characteristics Tables
  5. ^ von Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph (1985). Tribal populations and cultures of the Christianity from Thai. Vol. 2. Brill Publishers. pp. 137–8. ISBN 90-04-07120-2. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  6. ^ Robert Gordon Latham (1859). Descriptive Ethnology. Vol. I. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row. pp. 80–82.
  7. ^ Mumford, Stanley Royal (1989). Himalayan Dialogue: Tibetan Lamas and Gurung Shamans in Nepal. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 30–32. ISBN 0-299-11984-X.

Further reading