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Federalism by Jill CottrellFederalism Issues in Designing a Federal System by Jill Cottrell in english language Download Powerpoint file Read more

संघीय प्रणाली प्रारुपका सवालहरुFederalism Issues in Designing a Federal System by Jill Cottrell in Nepali language Read more

Janajati

Chhantyal

Chantyals are believed to have thrived in a sacred place called "Chhantu" sometime in the remote past and spread along the southern slopes pf Dhawalagiri Himal. Today they are found concentrated in some villages of Myagdi, Baglung and Mustang districts. Their population is believed to be around 20,00. As inhabitants of the Magrant region, the Chhantyal culture and habits resemble those of the Magars. They have their own language quite akin to Thakali. However, the Bhalanja section of Chhantyals considers the Kusundas as their ancestors. The Chhantyals are animists and profess shamanism. In most religious practices, they are closer to the Magars. In the past, they were well-known for their exceptional knowledge and skills of mining. Their main occupation was mining in old days. As government banned on mining, they had to depend solely on horticulture these days. According to census 2001, the population of Chhantyal is 9,814.

ImageChhantyals are an indigenous people of Myagdi and Baglung districts. They have fairly large settlements in villages like Gurjakhani, Malkabang, Patlekharka, Chourkhani, Thadakhani, Kuinekhani, Malampar, Kharikathe, Makimli, Chinakhet, Mangalekhani, Baranjakhani, Araman, Machchhim, Chhapkhani of Myagdi district and Lammela, Bopdkhani, Ghosakhani, Saykatera, Muskat, Ghaiyakhani, Bahungaon, Khukhani, Narjakhani, Darling, Kalapatal and Khahare of Baglung district. Similarly, there are settlements of Chhantyals in some villages in Gulmi, too. They are nowadays found living in the districts of Mustang, Parbat, Rupandehi, Chitwan and Kathmandu. Their population, according to the census of 2001, is 9,814. A survey conducted by themselves in 1988-1999, however, has given the number to be 10,521 (Nepal Chhantyal Association, BS2055). Some people are of the view that the name, Chhantyal, was given after a village called Chhyantung in Baglung district as they dispersed from that village.

Chhantyals call their language Chhantyal Kham, and it is close to the Gurung and Tamang languages. Their culture resembles that of Magars to a great extent. Whereas Chhantyals of Bhalamja clan consider themselves as descendants of Kusundas (Ukyab and Adhikari, BS2057:16). Chhantyals marry within their community as far as possible. Marriage can be arranged by request or by mutual consent of the bride and the bridegroom. Chhantyals can marry Magars but they have to pay fine for doing so. Magars have the practice of marrying maternal uncle's daughter only whereas Chhantyals can practice cross-cousin marriage. It is reciprocal among Chhantyals. Chhantyals bury or cremate their dead ones. It is a practice that the eldest son undergoes rigorous funeral rites on the death of a father and the youngest son does so on the death of a mother and any member of the family can undergo such funeral rites on the death of others (Chhantyal, et al, 1995).

Chhantyals follow Buddhist religion and animism. They believe in Dhamis and Jhakris. They worship gods and goddesses, including Barah, Kuldewata, Simebhume, Mandali, etc by offering hen, sheep and goat as sacrifice. Their conventional occupation is mining and they specialize in mine exploration and mining. Their occupation these days is agriculture and animal husbandry. Chhantyal women are skilled in weaving woolen carpets, woolen blankets, hadhula, ghoom, clothes of bhangro, docha (a kind of knee-high warm shoes). The status of women in Chhantyal society equals that of men and they are seen running their own independent businesses, but they are not given share in inherited property.

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