Kami (panchal brahmin)
Regions with significant populations
   Nepal1,470,010 (5.04% of Nepal's population) (2021)[1]
Nepali language (Khas kura)
Hinduism 96.35% (2011), Christianity (3.39%) (2011)[2]
Related ethnic groups
Khas people, Darjee, Badi, Sarki, Gandarbha/Gaine

Kami is an Indo-Aryan Nepali speaking group that primarily worked as metalsmiths.[3] Later Nepal abolished its grading system.[4] The tribal designation of Khas is given in only a few contexts. the Government of Nepal legally abolished the caste-system and criminalized any caste-based discrimination, including "untouchability" (the ostracism of a specific caste) - in the year 1963 A.D.[5] With Nepal's step towards freedom and equality, Nepal, previously ruled by a Hindu monarchy was a Hindu nation which has now become a secular state,[6] and on 28 May 2008, it was declared a republic,[7] ending it as the Hindu Kingdom.[8] Even though it is illegal to discriminate people based on their caste, these people are widely discriminated in Nepal. A large portion of people still discriminate Kami and other so-called lower castes. While a small minority of the population claims that the problems related to caste based discrimination are no longer present in Nepal, many are fully aware that these problems are rooted not only in tradition and culture, but also religion. Caste based discrimination and violence are a grim reality of Nepali society with numerous people losing their lives due to racially motivated mobs.[9] Both the Government and many other INGO are working hand-in-hand in order to uproot the problem by targeting grassroot issues such as education, awareness and employment.[10]

In the 21st century, the economic status of this group rapidly increased. They live in hilly or mountainous districts of Nepal and in the Indian areas of Assam, Sikkim and Darjeeling District.[citation needed]

Geographic distribution

The 2011 Nepal census classifies the Kami within the broader social group of Hill Dalit.[11] At the time of the Nepal census of 2011, 1,258,554 people (4.8% of the population of Nepal) were Kami. The frequency of Kami by province was as follows:

The frequency of Kami was higher than national average (4.8%) in the following districts:[12]

Clans and surnames

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According to the 2001 Nepal census, 895,954 Kami inhabited the country, among which 96.69% were Hindus and 2.21% were Buddhists. Kami makes up 4.8% of Nepal's population (or 1,258,554 people) according to the survey of 2011.

Common surnames (Thar-थर) include Gajmer, Khati, Sirwal, Baraili, Darnal,Diyali, Laamgade,etc. Their surnames are similar to the Brahmins of Nepal. These surnames are used by Nepali community living in the different parts of India basically in North East States, Sikkim Darjeeling, Tarai and Dooars. In West Bengal these surnames are brought under Scheduled Caste. But in other states like Assam the people of Kami Community are not included in Scheduled Caste.[citation needed]


The primary occupations include silversmith, ironsmith. Products include idols, weapons, and shields were also produced by these people in the past. In ancient times, few Kamis were literate and had poor economical status.[citation needed]


  1. ^ National Statistics Office (2021). National Population and Housing Census 2021, Caste/Ethnicity Report. Government of Nepal (Report).
  2. ^ Central Bureau of Statistics (2014). Population monograph of Nepal (PDF) (Report). Vol. II. Government of Nepal.
  3. ^ Whelpton 2005, p. 31.
  4. ^ Gurung, Harka (2005) Social Exclusion and Maoist Insurgency. Paper presented at National Dialogue Conference at ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal peoples, Kathmandu, 19–20 January 2005.
  5. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Nepal: Deadly caste-based attacks spur outcry over social discrimination | DW | 16.06.2020". DW.COM. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Nepal king stripped of most powers". CNN. 18 May 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Nepal votes to abolish monarchy". BBC News. 28 May 2008. Archived from the original on 7 January 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  8. ^ Crossette, Barbara (3 June 2001). "Birendra, 55, Ruler of Nepal's Hindu Kingdom". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Nepal: Ensure Justice for Caste-Based Killings". June 2020.
  10. ^ "More 'can and must be done' to eradicate caste-based discrimination in Nepal". UN News. 29 May 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  11. ^ Population Monograph of Nepal, Volume II [1]
  12. ^ 2011 Nepal Census, District Level Detail Report