Who are Thakali?

Thakali

Thakali is one of the 59 indigenous Nationalities in Nepal densely dwelling
in Thasang, or Thak Sat Sae or Thak Khola of the southern part of Mustang district,
which extends from the village of Ghasa in the south to Jomsom (the district
headquarter) in the north. Thakalis ancestral territory is Thaksatse in Thak Khola,
which consists of 13 village known as Tehra Gaun: Tukuche, Khanti, Kobang,
Larjung, Bhujungkot, Nakhung, Naprungkhung, Titi, Dhumpu, Taglung, Kunjo,
Lete and Ghasa. Thakalis are divided into four clans—Khuki (Bhattachan), Choki
(Gauchan), Dinjen (Sherchan) and Salki (Tulachan).

History

History puts that the term ‘Thak’ originated from Tibetan language which
means a ‘distant country’ and the term may have been coined because historically
Thak region was at the edge of Tibetan influence. For most of the period until the
mid-eighteenth century, the region was ruled by the Tibetan Kingdom of Lo. In 1786
the Lo Kingdoms came under Gurkha rule, and in 1789 they helped Gurkhas conquer
the formidable Kingdom of Jumla. For their aid, Lo Kings retained their positions
with provisions that they pay tributary to rulers in Kathmandu. Thakalis do not have
a written history. They have preserved their oral history, a mixture of historical facts
and mythical stories in their religious textbook called ‘cyogi rhab’ which is written
in Tibetan script.

Thakalis are one of the indigenous communities having distinct language,
culture, rituals and oral history.

Thakalis are one of the indigenous communities having distinct language,
culture, rituals and oral history. La Phewa is the major festival of the Thakalis, which
is renowned as a 12-year cyclic fair. Thakalis adhere both to Bon and Buddhism.
Toronlha is their one another major festival, it is also known as the New Year of
Thakali, which is observed once in a year in early March. Thakalis have a living
customary institution called Mukhiya system, practicing political, judicial, social
and economic performances. This very customary institution devises rules, laws and
makes regulations, settles disputes relating to petty quarrels, theft, robbery and other
cases, protects forests and controls social evils and promotes customs. Although


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