Photo Source: Copyrighted © 2023
Kerry Olson All rights reserved. Used with permission
Map Source: People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
|Primary Language:||Tamang, Eastern|
|Christian Adherents:||2.29 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Buddhist|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
The name Tamang means "horse trader." They were involved with a long war with their rivals, the Gurkhas, who eventually defeated them. The Tamangs once had forced labor obligations. Their land was divided by clan. They have about 100 clans. Most of the Tamang live in Nepal or India, but there are smaller numbers of them in Bangladesh and Bhutan.
They are generally very poor, yet they enjoy festivals, music and cultural events. They have their own song and dance style called Tamang Selo. These songs can be about sorrow, humor, joy or satire. Their main festival is Sonam Lhochhar. It welcomes the new year in February or March.
The majority of Tamang follow Tibetan Buddhism but mix this heavily with animism and to a lesser extent, with Hinduism. Their priests, or lamas, have a dominant role in the community and perform ceremonies for funerals, etc. Perhaps the most powerful person in society, however, is the shaman, who exorcises demons and interacts with the spirit world.
The Tamang community in India has a significant number of Christian believers. Perhaps these followers of Christ will carry the gospel to their own people in Nepal and Bangladesh.
There are some followers of Jesus today among the Tamang of Nepal. Pray for these, and for those others the Lord will soon bring to himself. Pray they will seek each other out in order to fellowship together. Pray they will be zealous to know Christ and follow his ways. Pray for the entire Tamang community to be able to care well for their families, to find ways to generate income and meet basic needs. Pray for a powerful movement to Christ among Tamang families in Bangladesh.