News & Views
Resources

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

Hayu

Hayus are another endangered indigenous peoples of Nepal, numbering a few hundred families. They live along the neighborhoods of the Maryang River, and they are also found in the districts of Sindhuli and Ramechhap. However, the village of Ratanchura in Sindhuli is considered their ancestral home. Short in stature, flat-nosed and squinty-eyed, they have their own unique language and culture. They are animists or nature worshippers, though they are highly influenced by neighboring Hindus.In socio-cultural pratices, Hayus are closer to Rais, but they do not perform Skewa Sili worship as Rais do. Some of the Hyus have begun to call themselves Rais. Hayus were nomadic until a few years ago; now they are mostly engaged in farming and wage labor. Most of them are landless and 80 percent of them live below poverty line. Almost 75 percent of them are illiterates. According to Census 2001, their total number is 1,821.

ImageMinority Hayus consider themselves an indigenous people who have descended from Kirant dynasty. The area from the head of the Likhu River to Sunkoshi or the VDC areas of Okhreni, Sukajor and Ramechhap in Ramechhap District is the primitive settlement of Hayus. According to their mythology, Hayus are the youngest of the five Kiratis (ie Surel, Sunuwar, Rai, Limbu and Hayu). This youngest brother was left behind while roaming around in search of an appropriate settlement. The brother so left behind had carried a drum. The drum started to play on its own when he reached Mudajor of Ramechhap. He considered the sound as an auspicious signal and decided to settle down in that area (Gautam and Thapa Magar, 1994: 268-269).

Hayus scattered from there to other areas of Ramechhap up to Ratanchura of Sindhuli. At present they are also found in small numbers in Dhanusa, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Siraha and Kabhre districts. According to a recently conducted survey, there is one Hayu in Ramechhap who has completed Bachelor's degree, two who have completed Proficiency Certificate Level and 16 who have passed the SLC examinations (Subba, BS2056). As regards the Hayus of Sindhuli, they have been identifying themselves as Rais. The population of Hayus, as recorded by the Census of 2001, is 1,821.
Hayus have their own language, which is called Hayu. This language belongs to the Tibeto- Burman family. The culture of Hayus is similar to that of Rais. In the christening ceremony of a newborn, a hen is required if the newborn is a girl and a cock if it is a boy. A bow and arrow is also required in the christening ceremony of a boy. The process is officiated by a sister, father's sister, brother-in-law, father's sister's husband, etc. Marriage is conducted either by arrangement or by mutual consent of the bride and the bridegroom.

Whatever the form of marriage, local beer, spirit, meat, fish and some money are required. If someone dies, s/he is buried in a tomb dug in the personal land—rice field or dry field. The tomb is dug wide and deep in the form of a box and the corpse is lowered and placed in the cross-legged position. The dead body is covered carefully. Mourning period is over on the third day. A pig is slaughtered on this ritual. The daughter and the daughter's husband are invited to this ritual and all of the items offered in the name of the dead are given to them. Hayus are basically worshippers of nature and Kirata Dharma is their religion (Dopfum, BS2057). They worship several gods and goddesses of nature, ancestors and other family gods.

Agriculture is the main occupation of Hayus. Although the area east of Rungkhola, west of Chyasku Khola, north of Sunkoshi and south of Muldada (Tumti Danda) was their Birta, a majority of them are landless today. None of them, except two or three families, can support themselves with their own earnings (Subba, ibid). In addition to agriculture, they are engaged in cowherdship and agricultural labour. Some of them subsist on fishing. They cut firewood in the jungle and sell them in the market place. Some of them are masons who build houses or make walls. The number of Hayus in civil service is insignificant.

Go Back  
Advance Search

Check Mail

Email

Password

Newsletter