Thakali in Nepal


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Identity

The 1991 census in Nepal returned 13,731 members of the Thakali ethnic group, of which 7,113 (51.8%) were still able to speak the Thakali language. They primarily inhabit the Thak Sat Soe area in Thak Khola in the southern part of the Mustang District. Mustang is located within the Dhawalagiri Zone of north-central Nepal. Others have spread out into the 'Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat, Kaski, Gulmi, Syangja, Palpa and Rupendehi districts. The thirteen major Thakali villages are spread on the western bank of the Kali Gandaki Gorge through which flows the Kali River.' The Thakali region is spectacular, flanked by the massive Annapurna Himal and the Dhawalagiri Himal, with peaks rising to 8,090 metres (26,535 ft.).

The Nepal government acknowledges the Thakali as one of the 61 ethnic groups of their nation. They also officially acknowledge the Marphali, Thintan and Syangtan as separate groups, even though they 'resemble the Thakalis in every conceivable way'. There are four major clan divisions among the Thakali: namely Chhyoki, Salki, Dhimchen and Bhurki.

Thakali men traditionally obtain their brides by abducting a girl when she is gathering wood in the forest or fetching water from a stream. She is taken back to the boy's home for several days, after which notification is sent to the girl's parents, bidding them to agree to the marriage.


History

For centuries the Thakali dominated the salt trade of western and central Nepal, trading southward into India and northward into Tibet. This has made them one of the wealthiest groups in Nepal today. Although the Thakali language is part of the Tibeto-Burman family, they are making a 'conscious effort to dilute their Bhotia [Tibetan] connection. The trend is towards identification with Hindu castes or better-known ethnic groups.'


Religion

The present transition of the Thakali culture is also seen in their religion. 'Thak Khola is located in the zone where Tibetan cultural influences from the north come into contact with Hindu cultural influences from the south. Thus a mixture of native cultural elements and elements brought in and assimilated from the outside can be witnessed. This syncretism is above all reflected in religion, which is here a combination of animistic, pre-Buddhistic elements joined with Buddhist and Hindu ones. Adherents of Catholicism are now found among the migrated Thakalis and some Thakalis in Kathmandu call themselves atheists.' One source notes, unflatteringly: 'Even the once proud tradition of becoming Buddhist monks is more or less extinct today, and only those old monks and nuns are upholding the traditional religion and beliefs, while the others consider these as the skeleton in their cupboards and wait for the death of these old monks and nuns so that once and for all they can bury the past.'


Christianity

Although the Thakali have been coming under many influences in recent years, Christianity has not been one of them. 'This group is still almost completely unreached with the gospel. A few have heard of and even accepted Christ, but there is still no Thakali speaking church and no Bible in their language.'


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

People Name General Thakali
People Name in Country Thakali
Population in Nepal 11,000
World Population 12,500
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Tapaang, Thaksya, Thakuri, तकली
People ID 18235
ROP3 Code 113764
Country Nepal
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 25  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country They primarily inhabit the Thak sat Soe area in Thak Khola in the southern part of the Mustang District. Others have spread out into the Myagdi, Bablung, Parbat, Kaski, Gulmi, Syangja, Palpa and Rupendehi districts. The 13 major Thakali villages are spread on the western bank of the Kali Gandaki Gorge.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file 14
Largest States
Bagmati
3,000
Dhaulagiri
2,600
Gandaki
2,300
Lumbini
1,400
Narayani
400
Rapti
400
Seti
300
Kosi
200
Janakpur
200
Mechi
100
Karnali
100
Bheri
100
Sagarmatha
70
Mahakali
10
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Nepal
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 25  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country They primarily inhabit the Thak sat Soe area in Thak Khola in the southern part of the Mustang District. Others have spread out into the Myagdi, Bablung, Parbat, Kaski, Gulmi, Syangja, Palpa and Rupendehi districts. The 13 major Thakali villages are spread on the western bank of the Kali Gandaki Gorge..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States 14
  Bagmati 3,000
  Dhaulagiri 2,600
  Gandaki 2,300
  Lumbini 1,400
  Narayani 400
  Rapti 400
  Seti 300
  Kosi 200
  Janakpur 200
  Mechi 100
  Karnali 100
  Bheri 100
  Sagarmatha 70
  Mahakali 10
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Nepali (7,500 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Thakali
4,200
Dotyali
40
Lhowa
20
Other People Groups Speaking Nepali
Primary Language Nepali (7,500 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Thakali 4,200
  Dotyali 40
  Lhowa 20
People Groups Speaking Nepali

Primary Language:  Nepali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1850-1961)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1821-2010)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1914-2004)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Nepali
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video New Way - Naya Goreto (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video Until We Met (Indigitube.tv)
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible: नेपाली - Nepali
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter EasyBibles
Text / Printed Matter International Bible Society
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
46.74 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
4.41 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
48.85 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group Location from IMB. Other map data / geography from GMI. Map by Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest Nepal census data.  Current values may differ.


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