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

Janajati

Dura

Duras live on the hills of Dura Danda, Turlungkot, Kunchha Am Danda of Lamjung District and some adjacent villages of Tanahun District. These days, they have sporadically migrated to Pokhara and Bhairahawa also. Their Language is also called Dura but it is near extinction. Animistic practices are common to them. However, some of them prefer to call themselves Buddhists and some Hindus. Round-faced, flat-nosed and short in stature, Duras have their own unique traditions and culture though their religious and cultural formalities are quite akin to Gurungs. Their sons are fitted with bows and arrows on the very day of their naming ceremonies, a fact that reflects on their martial heritage. They have no definite history of their origin. Duras use lama or ghyabring, a shaman, to perform death rites. Farming is the chief occupation of Duras. According to Census 2001, their population is 5,169.

ImageThe tribe of Dura are a minority indigenous people living in Turlungkot, Bhangu, Thuloswanra, Khajegaon, Kaneswanra, Baspani, Neta, Kunchha, Bardhan, Handikhola, Bhorletar, Chisangkhu, Amdanda in the district of Lamjung and Shishaghat, Ramche, Dharampani, Tanahusur, Ramthumki, Kyamin and the like in the district of Tanahun.There is no unanimous opinion regarding the origin of Dura. One school of though is that Dulals who came from Durankot of Parbat were later called Duras (Gurung, BS2053). The Duras, today, have scattered over 12 districts from Duradanda (Dura, undated). According to the census taken by Dura Seva Samaj in 1998 (BS2054) the number of Duras was 5,676 (Dura Seva Samaj, BS2057). The number of Duras according to the national census, however, is 5,169.

Minority Duras have their own language, which is in an endangered stage. Approximately 1,500 words and 250 sentences have been found so far in Dura language (Dura Seva Samaj, ibid). They have their own distinct culture and tradition, which are similar to that of Gurungs to a great extent. Duras are of five types, ie five clans. Marriage does not take place among the thars (clans) like Dhingal, Pache and Darde. Similarly, marriage does not take place between Puhi and Kyausa. But marriage can take place between Dhingal, Pache and Darde and Puhi and Kausa groups. Marriage is done both by arrangement and by mutual agreement between the boy and the girl in question. The son of father's sister can marry the daughter of his maternal uncle. But the son of maternal uncle cannot marry the daughter of father's sister.

In the naming ceremony it is customary among the Duras to hang a bow on the shoulder of the child like Gurungs. Duras celebrate the happy occasion of the birth of the first born son by merrymaking with the relatives from maternal home. This celebration is called 'putpute'. The practice of merrymaking by sitting in rodi and by singing and dancing is found among the Duras as well. They get the rituals observed after death of someone in the family. The death rites are performed by Lama or by ghyabring (Gautam and Thapa Magar, 1994:200).

Duras follow Buddhist religion. They, however, like animists, perform Bhumi puja or worship of land, udhouli, or pre-harvest and ubhouli or post-harvest puja, harelo puja or worship of land by farmers before and after plantation in the field to prevent famine or vermin like rats or insects, etc. They perform road obstruction puja to prevent epidemic of diseases. Bhayar puja is performed to please tiger, tarkhu puja to cause rainfall. Other worships like kul puja, or worship of family deity, pitri puja, or worship of dead ancestors, etc are organized on various occassions (Dura Seva Samaj, ibid).
Duras depend on agriculture and animal husbandry for their livelihood. The practice of parma (a form of labour exchange) is prevalent among them. The teams of parma are called huri and feasts are organized from the proceeds of the wages earned by the huris. This practice of eating together is called risiya eating. Women in Dura society are treated with respect and they are free to run their pewa or privately-owned business, to do other works of their interest and enjoy humour by playing jokes. Although there is no social discrimination against women, they are not entitled to share of the inherited property.

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