Bhotia, Kutang, Larke in Nepal

Joshua Project has identified the Bhotia, Kutang, Larke only in Nepal






Largest Religion

Main Language


The Larke (Nubri)

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

In 1992, there were reportedly 1,300 speakers of the Kutang Ghale language living in the northern Gorkha District of the Gandaki Zone in central Nepal. They inhabit the Buri Gandaki Valley, from Nyak northward to and including the village of Prok. The Kutang Ghale inhabit villages up to 4,100 metres (13,450 ft.) above sea level.

The authorities in Nepal do not acknowledge any of the three distinct Ghale language groups; they have, rather, included them as part of the large Gurung ethnicity, which numbered more than 449,000 people at the time of the 1991 census. Although there are definite historical and cultural links between the Ghale and the main body of Gurung people, their languages are markedly different. Linguistic research into the Kutang Ghale language, which is part of the Tamangic branch of Tibeto-Burman, has found that Kutang Ghale shares only between 39 per cent and 49 per cent lexical similarity with Southern Ghale, between 45 per cent and 61 per cent with Northern Ghale, and only 18 per cent with the variety of Gurung spoken in the Banspur area. By way of comparison, English and German share a 60 per cent lexical similarity. When people from one Ghale group try to communicate with other Ghale people they cannot, and they must revert to Nepali to be understood. There is surprising diversity even among the three reported dialects of Kutang Ghale (Bihi, Chak and Rana). These three dialects reportedly share only a 62 per cent to 76 per cent lexical similarity with each other. The Kutang Ghale call their language the 'thieves' language' because they think they have stolen vocabulary from many other neighbouring languages. The Ghale languages were studied by the Christian missionary Larry Seaward between 1971 and 1973. He compiled a 276-page Ghale dictionary, which has not yet been published.


The history of the three Ghale language groups is uncertain, although one source states, 'According to their legend, the Gurung were a wandering tribe that traversed west across Tibet prior to their entry into Mustang. Their Tibetan sojourn pre-dates the introduction of Buddhism there (7th century) as the Gurung religious traditions are basically animist.... From Mustang, Gurungs moved to Manang where they came under the domination of Klye (Ghale) chiefs, later migrants from Tibet.... In the early 16th century, the Ghale ruler of Lamjung was defeated and replaced by a Thakuri prince from Kaski.'

The term 'Ghale' therefore refers to a ruling class of Gurung people, who appear to have come from Tibet at a different time than the Gurung and brought with them a different language and different customs. There are also historical records of Ghale rulers among the neighbouring Tamang tribe.


All Kutang Ghale people believe in Tibetan Buddhism. They have their own lamas, and their ceremonies and rituals are all Buddhist.


There are no known Christians among this ancient and intriguing ethnic group.

Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Bhotia, Kutang, Larke
People Name in Country Bhotia, Kutang, Larke
Population in Nepal 200
World Population 200
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bhingi, Bhotte, Bote, Ghale, Gurung, Kutang Bhotia, Larke, Larkye, Larkye Tibetans, Lila, Nubripa, Nupra, Nupraba, Nupri, Nupriha
Country Nepal
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country They inhabit villages in the North Gorkha District of the Gandaki Zone in central Nepal..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gandaki (200)
Total States on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gandaki (200)
Languages & Dialects on file:  2  (up to 20 largest shown)
Nubri (100) Nepali (60)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nubri 100 Nepali 60
For Primary Language: Nubri

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: University of Texas Map Collection  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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