Author Topic: Bhujel  (Read 1045 times)

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« on: August 11, 2007, 10:43:03 AM »
The main inhabitants of Bhuji Khola area of Baglung district are called Bhujels. They are a minority indigenous people of the medieval Dor Kingdom of Magar region and Nisi and Bhuji areas. Those living in the Bhuji village call themselves Bhujel and those living in the Nisi area call themselves Nisel. Nisels and Bhujels also call themselves Khawas. Many, however, argue that these two peoples are of the same community (Bhujel and Yonjan Tamang, BS2058). They are nowadays scattered in various parts of the kingdom from Baglung, Rukum, Rolpa, Myagdi and Tanahu. Their population, according to the census of 2001, is 117,644.

Bhujels are culturally close to the Magars while linguistically they are close to Chepangs. Bhujel language is an eastern Himalayan branch of the language belonging to Tibeto-Burman family of languages (Coughlay, 1998). The rituals, traditions and culture of the Bhujels of Bhuji and Nisi areas are original while those of other areas are notably influenced by rituals, traditions and cultures of neighbouring tribes in practice. They have their own system in the performance of functions like christening, rice feeding, first shaving of cut, etc. Like many other minority indigenous peoples/nationalities, Bhujels do not treat menstruation of women as pollution. Marriages are done in both ways: by arrangement or by mutual consent. The role of jwain (husband of a sister or a daughter) is important. No priest is necessary. Marriage with maternal uncle?s daughter is allowed while the same with the daughter of father?s sister is not allowed. Burrying the dead is a tradition among Bhujels but nowadays the practice of cremating is on the rise. Some of those who can afford to take a lamb along the funeral procession to sacrifice in the burial or cremation area take one and cut it into pieces and throw around the tomb (Bhujel and Yonjan Tamang, ibid). The youngest son observes mourning on the death of his mother while the eldest son does so on the death of his father. The day of last mourning rites is observed either on the day of death or within 13 days.

Bhujels are worshippers of nature. A number of gods and goddesses are worshipped in Udhoule-Ubhouli (pre-harvest and post-harvest seasons) and in Mangsir Purnima (the full moon day of Mangsir). The main occupation of Bhujels is agriculture. In addiiton, they make ploughs, yokes, bamboo goods like doko or bamboo baskets, namlo (a strap to hang load on porters back), nanglo, (winnowing tray) mandro (a mat of bamboo straps), thunche (a closed bamboo basket), bhakari (a bamboo mat made with straps used to keep grains by rolling it up), etc. They are also good at weaving clothes, spinning threads of allo (a small plant, which gives thread for making sacks) and at knitting kamlo (a coarse woolen cloth), carpets, blankets, ganda (outer garment worn by residents of alpine areas), etc from the wool of sheep and goat. Some are engaged in trade while only a few are in government service.


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