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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



Tangbes, also called Tangbedanis, come from the village of Tangbe, which is a part of the Bahra Gaunle (12 Villages) confederation in Mustang district. According to oral history, they have come to Tangbe from Bhurcho of Manang district. There are only 37 households to Tangbedanis in Tangbe village, About 71 famalies have been migrated to Jomsom, Pokhara and Kathmandu, Some 40 Tangbe families are found in Pokhara. Like the Bahra Gaunle people, their ways of life are akin to the Lhopas. They are Buddhists. They celebrate several festivals such as Lhosar, Yartong and Dhachyang. According to their tradition, second son should become Dhawa or Lama and second daughter a Jhuma, a Buddhist nun. They are polyandrous by tradition, but such marriage practices are becoming rare today. Tangbes were traditionally salt traders. Since the decline in this trade many years ago, most Tangbes are engaged in farming and other vocations.

The Tangbe are an indigenous people residing in the Barhagaun area of Mustang. They resemble Lhopas in physical appearance and are influenced by Tibetan culture. Among the ancient twelve villages (Barhagaun) of Mustang, those living in one of the villages, called Tangbe, are known as Tangbe. The Tangbe, until 1960, used to call themselves Tangbettani or Tangbettan, but nowadays write Gurung, Thakali, Bista or Thakuri behind their names (Jhedi Magar, BS2056).

The currently existing 18 villages around the Kagbeni Bazaar, which lies between Upper Mustang Lho and Lower Mustang Thak Khola, is known as Barhagaun. Among the 12 villages is the village Tangbe where Tangbetanis live. The village Tangbe is to the east of Kagbeni on the banks of the Chalungpa river at a height of 3,017 mt (Gurung, 1980). The population of Tangbe is not mentioned in any of the censuses. There are altogether 37 househoulds in the village of Tangbe. Recent outmigration has seen the permanent settlement of 40 Tangbe families in Pokhara, 30 in Jomsom and one in Kathmandu (Jhedi Magar, BS2057). The total population of Tangbe is estimated at around 400. The culture of Tangbe is influenced by Tibetan culture, but their style of dress is different from the Panchgaunles and the Thakalis and is similar to that of the Lhopas. The naming ceremony of the child is carried out on the third day of the birth of the child. Marriages are of three types: formally asking the bride's family for her hand, love marriage and marriage by capture. The Tangbes also practise polyandry, and the younger brothers who do not live with the eldest brother do not receive his share in the parental property. The village of Tangbes still remains today as a fortress. The Tangbe wear bakkhu and doch. As the village of Tangbe is lush green and easier to cultivate in comparison to other places, farming remains a primary activity for Tangbes. The houses of Tangbes are made of mud (Bista, 1996), and their language is similar to the language of Lhopas. The language of the Lhopa is wholly Tibetan; it is not old Tibetan but is the Tibetan language after the time of Padmasambhava (Lama, BS2052). Along with the Tangbe, the language of the Barhagaule is also similar to Lhopa.

The Tangbe have a village council, called Chi Khang, to which members are elected on a rotation basis. The council solves the problems that arise in the village and takes decision on the rituals and practices of the village and the community. The monastery is the centre for all the social activities of the Tangbes and festivals are celebrated therein. During the festivities drinking of alcoholic beverage and dancing occur. The Tangbe follow the Bon Po religion as well as Buddhism without differentiating much between the two. With regard to Buddhism the Tangbes follow the Shakyapa Karma and Nakapa sects. The Tangbe grow wheat, raise livestock and are also engaged in business. They are considered marginally less skillful businessmen than the Thakalis. They are adept in travelling, including to foreign countries, for business purposes. Although they own land in their villages, this is not enough for their survival. The Tangbe maintain their livelihood by taking loans from Thakalis.

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