Yakthumba, Limbu in Nepal


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Limbu are one of the largest tribal groups in Nepal. They are a sub-group of the Kirant people. The Limbu live mainly in eastern Nepal between the Arun River and the border of the Sikkim district in India. They speak a dialect of Kirant, which is a Tibeto Burman language.

The origin of the Limbu is uncertain, but they are clearly of Mongolian descent. In the later part of the 1700s, Nepal was formed by uniting various ethnic groups and principalities under a high caste Hindu dynasty. This conquest resulted in ethnic and cultural splits with the Limbu.

The Limbu are known as des limbu (ten Limbu), even though there are actually thirteen Limbu sub-groups. Legend says that five of the groups came from Banaras, India and the other eight from Lhasa, Tibet. There is no social discrimination among the Limbu sub-groups, although there are a number of different clans and sects.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Agriculture is the main source of income for the Limbu. Rice and maize are their principal crops. Although the abundance of land has made cultivation of new acreage possible, productivity is greatly limited by insufficient technology. Excess crops are often traded for food that cannot be grown in the region or for necessary items.

The men generally plow the fields and the women plant the seeds. However, at harvest time, both men and women work together to bring in the crops. Extended families often unite to help each other during harvest time.

Economic hardship among the Limbu has made it worthwhile for many of the men to join the army, both in Nepal and in India. This brings them a degree of respect, especially those who have earned a high rank.

In the past, marriages were arranged by the families. Neither the bride nor the groom had much say about the marriage payments or ceremonies. Modern times have changed this; today, both parties have an opportunity to make decisions about the wedding. There are three types of legal marriages: adultery, arrangement, and abduction. In the case of adultery, a compensation must be paid to the previous husband.

Women are quite influential within the Limbu families, especially if the husbands are in the military and stay away for long periods of time. However, a woman is not fully recognized until she bears her first child.

Drinking and dancing are very important to the Limbu. Weddings, mourning, gift exchanges, and settlements of conflicts all involve much consumption of liquor. Dances are held if visitors come to the village. These affairs give the young people a chance to meet and enjoy dancing and drinking.

The Limbu society is patrilineal, which means that the line of descent is traced through the males. Related families make up clans. When a clan member dies, the entire group is considered polluted. They then must all go through a period of re-purification.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Limbu are predominantly Buddhists, but participate in many popular Hindu festivals. They also have a number of worship practices that involve blood sacrifices. They believe that when a woman marries, she inherits her mother's gods. The woman and her husband then recognize the deities as their household gods.


What Are Their Needs?

The immigration of high caste Hindus-mostly Brahmins-into the region occupied by the Limbu resulted in the Limbu losing most of their land. They were only allowed to keep the land that they were living on and cultivating. The Brahmins had an advantage over the Limbu in that they could read and write, were skilled, and had resources that the Limbu lacked. In the eyes of the Limbu, the Brahmins were ungrateful servants who stole their land. This has led to deep resentment between the groups. The Limbu's struggle for land is an ongoing process that continues to affect the social and political conditions of the region.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Yakthumba, Limbu in Nepal.

* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Nepal and share Christ with the Limbu.
* Pray that the doors of Nepal will soon open to missionaries.
* Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Limbu Christians.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Limbu toward Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Limbu.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Yakthumba, Limbu
People Name in Country Yakthumba, Limbu
World Population 528,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 8
Alternate Names Black Mountain, Chaang, Chang, Monpa, Ole Monpa, Olekha, Tsono, लिम्बू
People ID 13065
ROP3 Code 105776
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 32  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Limbuwan area, Eastern hills. Koshi Zone and Mechi Zone.   Source:  www.ethnologue.com
Total States on file 14
Largest States
Mechi
226,000
Kosi
128,000
Bagmati
17,000
Sagarmatha
1,400
Narayani
1,300
Gandaki
900
Janakpur
500
Seti
500
Lumbini
500
Bheri
300
Mahakali
200
Dhaulagiri
100
Rapti
100
Karnali
30
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 32  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Limbuwan area, Eastern hills. Koshi Zone and Mechi Zone..   Source:  www.ethnologue.com
Total States 14
  Mechi 226,000
  Kosi 128,000
  Bagmati 17,000
  Sagarmatha 1,400
  Narayani 1,300
  Gandaki 900
  Janakpur 500
  Seti 500
  Lumbini 500
  Bheri 300
  Mahakali 200
  Dhaulagiri 100
  Rapti 100
  Karnali 30
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Limbu (344,000 speakers)
Language Code lif   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
Nepali
38,000
Bantawa
2,000
Chamling
800
Dotyali
100
Tseku
80
Walungge
60
Phangduwali
50
Rawat
40
Saam
20
Primary Language Limbu (344,000 speakers)
Language Code lif   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
  Nepali 38,000
  Bantawa 2,000
  Chamling 800
  Dotyali 100
  Tseku 80
  Walungge 60
  Phangduwali 50
  Rawat 40
  Saam 20
People Groups Speaking Limbu

Primary Language:  Limbu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1996-2003)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2009)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Limbu
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Yesu khristarɛ kunisaam
Text / Printed Matter Limbu Literature Association
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed Matter Virtual Storehouse, New Testament
Primary Religion: Other / Small
Religion Subdivision: Kirati
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
4.05 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
2.69 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
12.56 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
80.45 %
Unknown
0.25 %
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest Nepal census data.  Current values may differ.