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.
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."
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.
All Monpa peoples, including those from the Dirang subgroup, are Tibetan Buddhist.
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.
* 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|
|Population in Bhutan||200|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||Yes|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Diran, Dirang, Menba, Monba, Sangla, मोनपा, दिरांग|
|Persecution Rank||33 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Specialized Website||South Asia Peoples|
|Primary Language||Brokpake (200 speakers)|
|Language Code||sgt Ethnologue Listing|
|Other People Groups||Speaking Brokpake|