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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

Gangai

Gangais are mostly concentrated in Jhapa and Morang districts of Nepal. They are also known as Ganesh or Mandal. Because of their flat nose, plain face, wheatish complexion and rough curly hair, anthropologists have compared them to the Lepchas. In socio-cultural practices, they are akin to Rajansi or Koche. While the Gangais of Morang speak Maithili, the Gangais of Jhapa speak Rajbanshi. However, they claim that they have their own language and striving hard for its preservation. They also differ in their dress preferences. Mahabir and Thakur are their ancestral deities. They celebrate their own festivals such as Amati, Asari-Pasari and Jitwa, etc. They live in joint families. Gangais are of two catagories: Babu and Besaram. Babu Gangais take pork while the Besaram Gangais shun it. They are further divided into seven subgroups. Four of them - Pal, Sharma, Mandal and Kumhar are found in Nepal. The Gaigais are farmers. According to Census 2001, their population is 31,318.

ImageAlso known as Banmanchhe and Banraja, Kusundas are an indigenous people of Nepal. Although a nomadic tribe used to roaming in the jungle to hunt animals and look for root foods like yam, dwelling in jungle itself, collecting taxes from other tribes in earlier times, Kusundas have now become an endangered tribe (Ukyab and Adhikari, 2057:11). Earlier, Kusundas were said to be living in areas like Dhading, Gorkha and Tanahu. They are also found in the Western Region. The Kusundas are worshippers of nature. They became marginalized due to intercaste marriages and change of clan names. They were identified in association with Chepangs (Bista, 1996; Sharma, 2044). In Dang Kusundas have been living in the vicinity of jungles by building houses (Rana, 2057). It has been noticed that there are settlements of Kusundas in Tanahu, Dang, Pyuthan, Rolpa and Surkhet (Rana, 2058). The districts having jungle areas from Dhading, Gorkha, Tanahu, Kaski and Makwanpur to the districts of the Midwestern Region are the traditional areas of settlement of Kusundas.

An investigation conducted during the year AD2000 discovered around 50 Kusundas in Tanahu, Kaski, Dang, Rolpa, Pyuthan and Surkhet. Out of these there were only seven Kusundas who were pure ones, that is those who were not born of parents who had intercaste marriages. Kusundas like Rajamama of Tanahu, Lil Bahadur of Pyuthan and Puni of Rolpa are some of the very few people who can give information about the language of Kusundas. According to the census of 2001, however, there are 164 Kusundas and those who can speak Kusunda language are 87.The Kusundas tribe has a language of its own. In the opinion of BK Rana Magar (2058), this language is of Tibeto-Burman family while other scholars are of the view that this language seems to be of Burusasky family (Pokharel, 2057).

Kusundas, when a new baby is born, slaughter a wild fowl for sacrifice to worship the family deity and Kalbhairava. The purification rite of birth pollution is done by relatives on the elventh day. Marriage is not done within the family clan. The dead ones are buried. When they used to live in jungles, they would leave corpse of the dead behind and go to other places. They have recently started to perform funeral rites.

Kusundas, also called Banrajas, or kings of forests, would not come out of forest in the past. Women would, however, go to villages carrying meat and yam to barter with food grain. They used to determine the length of their stay on the basis of forecast by Dhami-Jhakri and Lamas. They used to kill cocks, wild cocks and pheasants, among animals without hooves, to eat. They were very much fond of dancing and singing. They would not drink milk of cows or its curd and would not touch cowdung, not to talk of raising cows.

They used to have their own community-based organizations. Women were treated equally. Nowadays almost everyone does intercaste or intertribe marriage. They put Shahi, Sen, Thakuri and Banraja as family titles. They are worshippers of nature. They used to respect Dhami-Jhankris and worship wild cock under a tree. They also worshipped trees. Among festivals, they celebrate the first day of the month of Magha. It is a sacrilege to touch cowdung.Hunting is their main occupation. To fetch and eat yam and other tubors and to move from one place to another was their occupation. They are very good at hunting and use of vegetation. They do not own land because it has not been that long since they took up agriculture as their occupation.

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