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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


Free (Phree)

Many think that the Pahari are the indigenous people, Free. This may have happened because of the stories of origin among the Pahari and Free and also because of the closeness of both their languages with the language of the Newars. The word, Free, may also owe its origins to the fact that, among the ethnic group, Kunwar (Kambar), there was the traditional practice of roaming from village to village every year conducting the ‘Pheri' ceremony, and from this the group may have come to be known as Free (Thapa, 2057). Although Frees are said to live also in Makawanpur and Sindhupalchok while the Paharia have been found only in Lalitpur and Kavre. Some researchers, in their different publications, have written Free in some places and Pahari in some places while referring to the same subject (Gautam, BS2051/51; Gautam and Thapa Magar, 1994:141-154). Nevertheless, popular legends have it that the Newar kings exiled the indigenous peoples, Frees, from their palaces terming them dirty (Phohari in Nepali), and since then Frees have been roaming and keeping themselves safe from the predications of the state in the forests, rivers and outskirts of the districts around Kathmandu Valley. And although people calling themselves Pahari or Kambar have been found, no individual belonging to the indigenous people, Free, has been found during the course of researches (Thapa, BS2057). According to materials related to the Free, their habitat is the districts of Sindhupalchok, Kavrepalanchok, Makawanpur and Lalitpur. They live in Bhadikhel, Sikarpa, Phawe, Lele, Topal and Godavari of Lalitpur and Betini and Kulekhani of Makawanpur. They call themselves Kambar. Some are of the opinion that Frees are Newars who have intermarried with Tamangs. Frees also call themselves Chhetri (Gautam and Thapa Magar, ibid).

The census of 2001 does not mention Frees. The culture and rituals of Free have more affinity with those of Pahari, although they appear to be influenced by the culture of Newars and Tamangs. The naming ceremony of the child occurs on the seventh day of birth. The main activity during the ceremony is the Nangchuri purification ritual to be undergone at the hands of the ancestral family barber. The hair and nails are cut and cleaned during the Nangchuri ceremony. The other practices of Frees are similar to those of Pahari. Frees consider beaten rice, soybean and ginger as important food items. The sacred fire is not constructed during marriage ceremonies. The dead body is cremated, and those accompanying the dead to cremation are provided with beaten rice to eat. Some Frees raise pigs. Unlike Newars, Free women pierce their nose, they cover themselves up to the knee with a piece of cloth, Phariya. After three days following marriage, the mother comes to the son-in-law's house to give sindur to her doughter. Frees celebrate Diwali Puja, Bhume Puja, Kushe Aunshi, Tihar and other festivals. Alcohol is used for the worship of ancestors. As among the Pahari when Free women marry outside their own group, the children born of such union claim descent from the mother's side. This shows that the Frees also had a matriarchal society at some time in the past. Frees live in joint families. Guthi is the primary social organization of Frees, which undertakes important ceremonies from life to death. Like the Pahari Free worship the demon-like figure of the deity. Banijkhane as well as the deity, Gambar, which is not represented in the form of a statue. Living on the outskirts of towns business profession has gradually come to take hold among Frees, and they have begun to sell milk, vegetables, etc. Their main profession, however, is farming. Despite being involved in farming, the economic condition of Frees is very bad. Frees also weave baskets and other materials of bamboo.

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