Who is Tamang?

Tamang make up the largest indigenous peoples among the 59 so far recognized by Nepal government. The term Tamang is made up of two words—Ta which means horse and Mang, which means rider or trader. It is assumed that they were connected with business of horse trading or riding. They have their own distinct religion, language, culture, customs, rituals and lifestyles. They say that they are the original people of Yambu, the Kathmandu valley and there are settlements of Tamang around Yambu even today. But the large number of Tamang community lives in at adjoining districts of Kathmandu valley namely—Rasuwa, Makawanpur, Nuwakot, Dhading, Kavrepalanchowk, Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha and Sindhuli, in the middle hilly region to the Himalayan range of Nepal including in Kathmandu valley. However they are now spread all over the country, and beyond Nepal, they are especially found in large numbers in Darjeling, Sikkim, Asam and Nagaland of India and in Burma and Bhutan. According to the latest national census 2011, their population stands around 1,539,830, which is about 6 percent of the total population of the country. Besides, Nepal an estimation puts that approximately 2 million Tamang live in different parts of India, Bhutan and Burma.

Tamang are very rich in their tradition and culture. They have their own language, culture, dress and social structure. They have over 100 sub-clans. Tamang believe in Buddhism, and famously said that 90 percent of Tamang follow Buddhism as their religion. Their language comes from Tibeto-Burman language family. They follow the Tibetan calendar of the 12-year cycle and their typical song-dance Bhote-selo literally means ‘Tibetan tune’, which is famously known as Tamang selo, which include the songs of humor and wit, satire, joy and sorrow. Tamangs have their own music. Their musical instrument is called Damphu (a small round drum covered with goat skin). Loshar is their


Tamangs have their own language which is called ‘Tamang’ language, comes from Tibeto-Burman language family. According to latest national Census 2011, of the total 1,539,830, as many as 1,353,311 Tamang speak their mother tongue, Tamang language speaking population stands around 90 percent of the total Tamang population. 

Lamang Language speaking countries:

Nepal, also Darjeling, Sikkim, Asam and Nagaland of India and in Burma and Bhutan