Monpa, Kalaktang in India






Largest Religion

Main Language



According to the eminent Indian anthropologist K S Singh, approximately 8,000 Kalaktang Monpa people live in the Kalaktang Circle of the West Kameng area of Tawang District in the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Kalaktang Monpa have been granted status in India as a Scheduled Tribe, but more research needs to be done to determine their ethnolinguistic relationship to other tribal groups, including the large Tsangla group. Although the Kalaktang Monpa language and culture appear to be quite different from those of most of the other Monpa groups, there are very few differences between the Kalaktang Monpa and the Dirang Monpa (despite the fact that the Indian authorities' investigations led them to grant separate tribal status to each group).


The Kalaktang Monpa are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Kalaktang circle, from which they take their name. In the past the Kalaktang Monpa did not possess a script, so their history was handed down in oral stories. Elderly Kalaktang Monpa men recall that their ancestors migrated to their present location from the Bumthang and Thalong areas in eastern Bhutan.


The Kalaktang Monpa have a rich culture. They are 'skilled in dyeing, weaving, papermaking, carpentry, cane and bamboo work. They perform some very popular forms of a mask dance.' Another source says, 'they have many pantomime dances which are generally performed during the annual festivals, both in the monasteries and in the villages. The Ajilamu and yak dances are very popular.'

All Kalaktang Monpa were traditionally employed in farming or trading, but in recent years the Indian government has implemented various schemes and projects in the Kalaktang Monpa area. Consequently, many people have new occupations like office jobs, teaching and contract work. Medical centres, schools, banks and a postal system are now operating in the Kalaktang area.


All Kalaktang Monpa are thought to believe in Tibetan Buddhism. 'Their sacred place is called goompha which is adorned with the images of Lord Buddha and the Bodhisattvas (incarnations of Lord Buddha). The lama is their priest and his services are required to perform the birth, marriage and death rituals. Simultaneously they practise pre-Buddhistic animism or shamanism. The animistic priest, called phrame, cures diseases and removes evil spirits

They share a common goompha (religious shrine) with the other Buddhist communities. Some of the Kalaktang Monpa send their children to the goomphas in the different parts of the country to acquire training in Lamaism. They have also established matrimonial and religious links with the other Monpas, Sherdukpens, Tibetans, Khambas and Membas.'


There are no known Christians among the Kalaktang Monpa tribe. Their communities are extremely tightly sealed, and people generally are not open to outside influence. Much prayer is needed before the gospel will be able to penetrate this precious unreached people group.

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

Expanded PDF Profile

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-08-28
People Name General Monpa, Kalaktang
People Name in Country Monpa, Kalaktang
Population in India 1,000
World Population 2,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kalaktan, Kalaktang, Moinba, Monba, Tsangla, Tsangla Monpa
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibetan
People Name General Monpa, Kalaktang
Ethnic Code MSY50r
People ID 17207
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country They live in the Kalaktang Circle of the West Kameng area of Tawang District in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arunachal Pradesh (1,000)
Total States on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Arunachal Pradesh (1,000)

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Monpa, Kalaktang (1,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Monpa, Kalaktang 1,000
For Primary Language: Monpa, Kalaktang

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
99.87 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.13 %

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
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

Copyright © 2015 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.