Monpa Dirang in Bhutan

Monpa Dirang
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Monpa Dirang
Country: Bhutan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 200
World Population: 8,600
Primary Language: Brokpake
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

There was a Monpa kingdom known as Lhomon or Manyul from 500 BC to 600AD. After that time, they were affected politically and culturally by the nearby Tibetans. Manyul remained independent until the Tibetans established direct rule over their kingdom in the 17th century. The Monpa peoples officially adopted Tibetan Buddhist during that century as a result of a Bhutanese-educated lama.

In 1914, the British drew what was called the McMahon Line, which established the boundary between British colonial holdings in India and Chinese-Tibet. That line came right through Monpa lands, and even today there is controversy between independent India and China as to where this line is drawn.

Monpas are now divided into at least six subgroups, including the Dirang Monpas, some of whom live in Bhutan.

Where Are they Located?

Monpa peoples like the Dirangs are mainly in India and China, though a smaller number live in Bhutan. One news article describes them as "torn between three countries."

What Are Their Lives Like?

Monpa peoples are noted for their woodcarving, carpet-making and weaving. They were able to produce paper long ago at one of their Buddhist monasteries.

Most of the Dirang Monpa people are farmers who terrace their slopes to prevent soil erosion. They grow cash crops like various grains, pumpkins, peppers, and beans.
Though they are not unaccustomed to hunting, the Monpa people allow only one person to hunt tigers on one auspicious day. When he kills the tiger, shamans use the jawbone and all its teeth as a magic weapon.

What Are Their Beliefs?

All Monpa peoples, including those from the Dirang subgroup, are Tibetan Buddhist.

What Are Their Needs?

The Dirang Monpa people in Bhutan need to put their identity in Jesus Christ rather than in their ethnicity or religious background. Only Jesus can provide them with what they need for this life and the life to come.

Prayer Points

Pray for spiritual openness among the Dirang Monpa people in Bhutan.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to this Tibetan Buddhist people.
Pray that soon there will be churches and discipleship groups among the Dirang Monpa people.

Text Source:   Keith Carey