Introduction / History
The Tamang language group has the highest number of speakers (1,400,000) of Nepal's Tibeto-Burman languages. There is little evidence that speakers of Western Tamang refer to themselves as anything other than the generic "Tamang." Ethnically, there is little difference between Eastern and Western Tamang. People on both sides of the Trisuli River call themselves Tamang, even though they recognize differences between the language varieties they speak.
Tamang people generally claim to be Buddhist but also celebrate Hindu festivals such as Dasahin and perform shamanistic activities. There are also known Christian churches in some of the Tamang communities. Some areas are almost exclusively Christian. The Tamangs have been one of the largest groups in Nepal to respond to the Gospel. Most Tamang people live in the middle hills of Nepal and are subsistence farmers, growing rice, corn, lentils, wheat and millet. A high percentage of young men and women have left their home villages to find work abroad.