Tamang in Bhutan

Tamang
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Tamang
Country: Bhutan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 9,200
World Population: 2,033,900
Primary Language: Nepali
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 3.59 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Buddhist
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The name Tamang means "horse trader." They were involved with a long war with their rivals, the Gurkhas, who eventually defeated them. The Tamangs once had forced labor obligations. Their land was divided by clan. They have about 100 clans. Most of the Tamang live in Nepal or India, but there are smaller numbers of them in Bangladesh and Bhutan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They are generally very poor, yet they enjoy festivals, music and cultural events. They have their own song and dance style called Tamang Selo. These songs can be about sorrow, humor, joy or satire. Their main festival is Sonam Lhochhar. It welcomes the new year in February or March.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of Tamang follow Tibetan Buddhism but mix this heavily with animism and to a lesser extent, with Hinduism. Their priests, or lamas, have a dominant role in the community and perform ceremonies for funerals, etc. Perhaps the most powerful person in society, however, is the shaman, who exorcises demons and interacts with the spirit world.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tamang community in India has a significant number of Christian believers. Perhaps these followers of Christ will carry the gospel to their own people in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Prayer Points

There are some followers of Jesus today among the Tamang of Nepal. Pray for these, and for those others the Lord will soon bring to himself. Pray they will seek each other out in order to fellowship together. Pray they will be zealous to know Christ and follow his ways. Pray for the entire Tamang community to be able to care well for their families, to find ways to generate income and meet basic needs. Pray for a powerful movement to Christ among the Tamang people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project