Monpa, Dirang in India


Population
1,600
Christian
Evangelical
Largest Religion
Main Language
Progress
Progress Gauge

Identity

The Dirang Monpa have been granted status in India as a Scheduled Tribe. Their population in the 1981 census was 3,599 (1,742 males and 1,857 females). This increased to 5,050 in the 1991 census. One of the alternate names for the Dirang Monpa is Sangla, which suggests that they may be related to the large Tsangla ethnic group of Bhutan, China and India, which numbers more than 250,000 people. More research needs to be done to determine the relationship between the Dirang Monpa and Tsangla languages.


History

The Dirang Monpa live in the Dirang Circle in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh in north-east India. The Dirang Monpa claim that they were the first inhabitants of the Dirang area. Some of their elders say their forefathers originated in eastern Bhutan, before migrating to their present location in India.


Customs

The diet of the Dirang Monpa consists of 'cereals, fish, meat, vegetables and chhung (local drink brewed from maize, rice, millet, wheat and buckwheat). Maize is the staple food item. They eat beef, pork, mutton, fowls, yaks, mithuns and deer. The fruits consumed are apples, peaches, bananas, pomegranates and oranges.'

Marriage in Dirang Monpa society is a simple procedure. A lama is hired to consult the horoscopes to determine the most auspicious time and day for a wedding to take place. Family members and friends gather at the bride's home. The lama simply places a white scarf, called a katha, around the necks of the bride and groom, blesses the couple, and they are married. A huge feast is held at which all the people, including children, often become intoxicated by consuming copious amounts of strong rice whisky.

The lamas perform many other roles in the community as well, in keeping with the important role that Tibetan Buddhism plays in the daily lives of Dirang Monpa society. After a baby is delivered, the mother is not allowed to leave the room for seven days. She is considered in a state of spiritual and physical pollution and nobody can visit her. When the baby is three days old, a lama is invited to name the child. 'After saying a prayer, he prepares a horoscope for the baby. The horoscope is consulted to choose a name for the child.'

Not only is the Buddhist lama present at birth, but he also officiates at funerals. When there is a death, 'the body is carried to a nearby river and thrown into the water after being cut into 108 pieces [Tibetan Buddhists consider 108 to be an auspicious number]. If a person dies in an accident his or her body is buried. When a lama or an influential person dies, the body is cremated. On the seventh day after the death a prayer is performed by the lama and a festoon is erected in front of the house of the deceased to satisfy the soul. On the ninth day, the last day of the mourning period, a feast is given.'


Religion

Tibetan Buddhism has a strong grip on the lives of the Dirang Monpa. At the time of the 1981 census, 99.69 per cent of the Dirang Monpa stated that they believed in Buddhism, 0.25 per cent were Hindus, and just one individual claimed to be a Christian. The previous Indian census, in 1971, had returned 100 per cent of the Dirang Monpa as Buddhists.


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

People Name General Monpa, Dirang
People Name in Country Monpa, Dirang
Population in India 1,600
World Population 1,800
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Progress Scale 1
Alternate Names Diran, Dirang, Menba, Monba, Sangla, मोनपा, दिरांग
People ID 16724
ROP3 Code 111965
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Dirang Monpa live in the Dirang Circle in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 17  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country The Dirang Monpa live in the Dirang Circle in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file: 1
Arunachal Pradesh (1,600)

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Ethnologue Language Map
Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language: Tshangla (1,400 speakers)   People group listing
Language Code: tsj   Ethnologue Listing
Written: Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Primary Dialect: Dirang
Dialect Code: 14202   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages: 12
Secondary Languages:
Adi (40) Hindi (30) Nyishi
Digaro-Mishmi Tibetan, Central Nepali
Santhali English Kharia
Naga, Mao Mundari
Primary Language: Tshangla (1,400 speakers)   People group listing
Language Code: tsj   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect: Dirang
Dialect Code: 14202   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages: 12
Secondary Languages:
Adi (40) Hindi (30)
Nyishi (10) Digaro-Mishmi (0)
Tibetan, Central (0) Nepali (0)
Santhali (0) English (0)
Kharia (0) Naga, Mao (0)
Mundari (0)
Primary Language: Tshangla

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2000)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
 
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
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World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tshangla
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
84.31 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.07 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
15.08 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.54 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
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


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