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Janajati

Larke

Larkes live in Larke, which is in the northern border region of Gorkha district and to the west of Siyar, another northern part of Gorkha district. Larkes are locally known as Nupribas. Their religion and culture are influenced by Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, and there is also much cultural commonality with the Sherpas of Solukhumbu. There are a number of Gumbas in Larke region and religious festivities are celebrated in gombas on certain occassions. Larkes or Nupribas are traders by tradition and exchange local items and other merchandise with wool, salt and other commodities from Tibet or China. They also occasionally do farming. Their language is Bhote. Some Larkes use Gurung as their clan surnames. Most of them are illiterate in Devanagari script and Nepali language. Their population has not been reported in 2001 Census report.

ImageThe inhabitants of Larke village in the northern region of Gorkha district bordering Tibet are known as Larke. They are known as Nupriba in the local language (Ukyab and Adhikari, BS2057:55). The Larke migrants from Tibet are engaged in both farming and trade. The Larke are a small minority community. The Larke village on the banks of the Budhigandaki River, between Himalchuli and Manaslu Himal on the west and Ganesh Himal on the east, lies on the trade route from Gorkha district to Tibet. An indigenous people, Larke are also found in small numbers in west Manang. They live to the west of the indigenous people, Siyar. As the Nupribas of Larke have not been mentioned separately in the censuses, it is difficult to tell their exact population. As they came from the west migrating from Tibet, they speak the Tibetan language.

The customs of Larke totally resemble those of the Tibetans. There are many monasteries in Larke villages. The Larkes say that they are related to the Gurungs who live to their south (Bista, 1996:203). Some call themselves Gurung. But their birth, marriage and death ceremonies are similar to the Tibetans of the north. Their dress, food habit and culture resemble those of the Tibetans.

The social system of Larke is based on joint family and is centred on the monastery. They belong to the Ningmapa sect of Buddhism. But Nupribas are also nature worshippers and worship the hills and mountains as deities. As the Larke area receives monsoon rainfall, farming remains an important activity, along with livestock raising. But the main occupation of Larkes is trade. The Larke area lies among the most important routes of trade between Nepal and Tibet; hence, the Larkes living near the border with Tibet are primarily engaged in the profession of buying and selling of goods across the border. In this regard, they have good relationship with the Sherpas of the east.

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