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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


Marphali Thakali

Marphalis are the inhabitants of Marpha situated between Tukuche and Kagbeni in the district of Mustang. They are also known as Mawatan Thakali and resemble the Thakalis in every conceivable way. They formerly used to refer themselves as Puntan or Punel also. Their clan names are Rhoten Phobe, Puta Phobe, Gumli Thowa Phobe and Gumli Cyangpa Phobe known in Nepali as Lalchan, Hirachan, Juharchan and Pannachan respectively. They have their own traditional village assembly, elected headmen (thyumi), village workers (chowa), mediators (mhichen) and village law. These days, some families of Marphalis have migrated to Mygdi, Beni, Pokhara, Tanahu, Butwal, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Surkhet and Kathmandu. Professing Buddhism, Marphalis are engaged in commerce, agriculture and horticulture.

ImageThe indigenous nationality called the Mawtan Thakalis living in the Marpha area, which lies between Tukuche and Kagbeni of Mustang district, are called Marphali Thakalis. Thakalis used to call themselves Puntan and were identified as Punel, too. They are divided into four clans or dynastic lineages: Hoten (Ratan or Ratum) Phobe, Puta (Putam or Putum) Phobe, Ghumli (Gumtan) Thoba Phobe and Ghumli (Gumtan) Chyanpa Phobe, which, from the decade of 1950s, are known by Nepali clan names, ie Lalchan, Hirachn, Juharchan and Pannachan respectively (Vinding, 1998:178). There are 118 households of them in Marpha. Recently they have scattered from there to Myagdi, Beni, Pokhara, Damauli, Abukhaireni, Belchautara (Tanahu), Butwal, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Surkhet, Gorkha, Mungling, Kathmandu, etc and have been doing business after settling in these places. Their population in 2000 has been estimated at 2,000 (Jhendi Magar, BS2057).

The physiognomy, language and costumes of Marphali Thakali are similar to those of Tamhang Thakalis. Birth rites are performed according to the Tibetan calendar. Their own priests conduct the rites. The first haircut and death rites are similar to those of Tamhang Thakalis. In the funeral pyre, before burying or cremating the corpse, the relatives of the dead light the fire after having other worshipping procedures completed (ibid).

Although slightly influenced by the Bon religion, Marphali Thakalis are basically followers of Buddhism. Like other Thakalis they believe in local gods, goddesses and spirits like Chan Lu, Ganyo Chacha, Alu Paldong, Syopta, etc.

Local laws and collection of records and different versions of historical documents, ie Bemchag, which throw light on ancient social and political organizations and systems have been discovered. Their traditional political system is still alive. For their village council, four chiefs (Thyumis) from four groups (Cho) or clan—one secretary, one accountant (chi lawa) eight mediators (mhichen) and 10 village workers are elected. The elections are held every year. All family heads gather once every third year at the main meeting of the village assembly (Phosang Jhomsi) and frame ground rules for the village. They evaluate the functions of their representatives or persons with responsibilities and make those of them who have wronged pay fines (Vinding, 1998:226-267). Such a meeting is held for three or four days. The elected representatives work for the village government and supervise the agriculture of the village, manage forests and jungles, arrange irrigation, dispense justice, maintain roads and bridges, etc.

Marphalis are engaged in trade and business besides agriculture and animal husbandry. Like other Thakalis, dhikur is prevalent among these Marphali Thakalis also.

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