Monpa Dirang in Bhutan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

There was a Monpa kingdom known as Lhomon or Manyul from 500 BC to 600AD. After that time, they were affected politically and culturally by the nearby Tibetans. Manyul remained independent until the Tibetans established direct rule over their kingdom in the 17th century. The Monpa peoples officially adopted Tibetan Buddhist during that century as a result of a Bhutanese-educated lama.

In 1914, the British drew what was called the McMahon Line, which established the boundary between British colonial holdings in India and Chinese-Tibet. That line came right through Monpa lands, and even today there is controversy between independent India and China as to where this line is drawn.

Monpas are now divided into at least six subgroups, including the Dirang Monpas, some of whom live in Bhutan.

Where Are they Located?

Monpa peoples like the Dirangs are mainly in India and China, though a smaller number live in Bhutan. One news article describes them as "torn between three countries."

What Are Their Lives Like?

Monpa peoples are noted for their woodcarving, carpet-making and weaving. They were able to produce paper long ago at one of their Buddhist monasteries.

Most of the Dirang Monpa people are farmers who terrace their slopes to prevent soil erosion. They grow cash crops like various grains, pumpkins, peppers, and beans.
Though they are not unaccustomed to hunting, the Monpa people allow only one person to hunt tigers on one auspicious day. When he kills the tiger, shamans use the jawbone and all its teeth as a magic weapon.

What Are Their Beliefs?

All Monpa peoples, including those from the Dirang subgroup, are Tibetan Buddhist.

What Are Their Needs?

The Dirang Monpa people in Bhutan need to put their identity in Jesus Christ rather than in their ethnicity or religious background. Only Jesus can provide them with what they need for this life and the life to come.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Monpa Dirang in Bhutan.

* Pray for spiritual openness among the Dirang Monpa people in Bhutan.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to this Tibetan Buddhist people.
* Pray that soon there will be churches and discipleship groups among the Dirang Monpa people.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Monpa Dirang
People Name in Country Monpa Dirang
World Population 7,400
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Diran; Dirang; Menba; Monba; Sangla; मोनपा, दिरांग
People ID 16724
ROP3 Code 111965
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 45  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 45  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Eastern 200
Website South Asia Peoples

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Primary Language Brokpake (200 speakers)
Language Code sgt   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Brokpake (200 speakers)
Language Code sgt   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Brokpake

Primary Language:  Brokpake

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name
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 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2020  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest Bhutan census data.  Current values may differ.