Tamangs, Nepal’s largest ethnic group, make up around twenty percent of the population and dominate the Central Hills between elevations of around 1500m and 2500m. With their origins in Tibet (Tamang means “horse trader” in Tibetan), the group follow a form of Buddhism virtually indistinguishable from Lamaism, though most also worship clan deities, employ shamans and observe major Hindu festivals. Despite their numbers, they remain one of Nepal’s most exploited groups, a situation dating back to the Gorkhali conquest in the late eighteenth century. Much of their land was appropriated, leaving them as tenant farmers, bonded labourers, woodcutters or stuck in menial jobs. The Tamangs today remain an underclass, locked into low-wage or exploitative jobs, or simply locked up (surveys suggest a disproportionate number are in prison).

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Nepal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Nepal, two years on: why the time to go is now

Nepal, two years on: why the time to go is now

In April 2015, Nepal hit global headlines when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the country, killing almost 9000 people. Two years on, Nepal continues to…

03 Jul 2017 • Daniel Stables insert_drive_file Article
Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

"The only thing you could focus on was the fact that the earth was moving from side to side by about eight to ten metres." These are the words of Kathmandu resi…

07 Jun 2016 • Lottie Gross videocam Video
Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Every year, Hindus around the world celebrate Holi Festival: the festival of colours. The event attracts many non-Hindus to take part, too, with hundreds of p…

24 Mar 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
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