Everything you need to know about The Sherpas - Ten'z Nepal

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Everything you need to know about The Sherpas


  • Settlement

This Sherpa group lives in the northern districts of Sagarmatha zone along the Dudhkoshi River and its tributary valley and in the Helambu and upper Trisuli Valley However they are spread out along the eastern hilly districts, such as Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan. Their original homeland is traditionally recognized as the district of Solu-Khumbu. They are also popularly known as Bhote Tribe.

  • Origin

They are the origination of Mangol group, had come from Tibet. Their traditionally homeland solukhumbu is also called Shar-Khambu, Shar means cast in Tibetan language. The word Sherpa is derived from the term sharva, meaning the people living in the east'. Thus Sharva Changed into Sherpa. Through the course of the time the name Sherpa has gained so much popularly and that it is called almost acts as tribal name.

  • House structure

Usually the Sherpa's house has two storeys and is built of store with a single roof. Basically the ground floor is used for livestock, firewood, and potatoes keeping and in the next floor Sherpas live. The houses are decorated with furnishing of beds a long low bench, tables chairs, cupboard. Houses of rich families are identified with colorfully painted along with various gold and bronze Buddhist images.

  • Ethnic organization

While studying this group, it is foundthey are separated all over. Traditionally, they are of 18 types. In the present days there are more than 22 types such as Chhiawa' Mende Garduj, Gile, Goparma, Uogodamba, Khawaije Dusherwa Paldoje Nawal Munamang Lluks, Lama Lachhinhu Pangkamma, piwasa, Saguput, Shire', 'Takda 'Shalanka' etc. Apart from this, there are other castes. Their significant aspect that their castes is composed on the basis of the specific places, events, works etc

  • Sacraments:

In this group, there are very limited ceremonies unlike other Hindu society. There are only 4-5 ceremonies. At first they celebrate the naming ceremony. In this society there is not any purity act. After the birth of the baby, the Lama, Buddhist priest or monk sees the auspicious moments or time. Normally within 5-11 days this ceremony is performed. At first the Lama reads the religious holy book and then he gives a name to the baby. After that they celebrate with their relatives by giving party. When the child is 12-13 years old another ceremony named Charten' is performed. In fact this ceremony is like as the "Bratabanda of Hindu's. In this ceremony, Sherpa children are religiously initiated by their teacher (Guru). This ceremony s only allowed for male children. Another important ceremony s marriage. In this society, arrange marriage, love marriage marriage, and Jari marriages prevail. In Jan marriage theft have to pay to sanction punishment. After doing love marriage or theft marriage all the methods are performed according to their religion. In theft marriage, if the girl doesn't accept the boy, she can go back to her parent's home with honor. In their society, the marriage takes place between cousin brothers and sisters. They have maintained good relation with other ethnic group, so they can have marital relation with Gunung, Magar, Kshatriyes etc. There are different steps in marriage such as boy's relative should go to the girl's house with alcohol, which is known as "Tichhyang. When girl's side takes the local alcohol, there sex is permitted between girl and boy. This step is known as Demchyang. In fact this is the day of the marriage. Janti (marriage party or procession) go to the girl's house. At this time it is not necessary for the bridegroom to go to the bride house. Girl's father respects the boy's father by putting on the 'Khawa and it will be announced as finishing of the marriage ceremony. After 2-3 days, they return to their house by taking the bride. After taking the bride, another step of the ceremony is done which is known as Prchhyang. At this time boy's parents and mother's parents get in together and have introduction. After this, again bride goes with their parents, later the boy goes to take his wife. In the meantime, girl's parents bid farewell to the boy's relation and bride and bridegroom. This process is known as 'Genakutuwa traditionally

The practices of polygamy and polyandry can be seen in Sherpa communities. We can see the system of sharing only one wife by many brothers in their society. And in this process their child will be considered as having only one father who is the elder one. In some family, two brothers have two common wives and both wives marry with the elder one The main reason of this practice is that younger brother's wife can have relation with elder brother's wife but elder brother shouldn't have affair with the wife of the younger brother.

The ritual rite of Sherpa community is of their own type when a person dies, immediately the dead body should be covered with new cloth, they recite the religious book named 'Fogyu' and the priest sees the direction in which side the ritual should be held, according to the suggestion of the Lama. The process of having ritual rite is performed. On the day of ritual ceremony, "Gyak is made to wipe out on the way or Torma is also made. Again, Lama prays for dead body to go to the world of Sinje Chhonhyal. After having the funeral rites, ritual book is read and it is read while 'Napur is not finished. After 49 days Gepako is done. This is the last day. And reciting the religions epic the Shradha is ended. On this day the feast is held for the relatives

  • Festivals:

This community performs different types of festivals They perform the festivals in religious nature. Their main festivals are Lhosar, Manirimdu, Dumji, Osho etc


Lhosar is observed to celebrate the new year According to the Tibetan calendar the new year begins sometime towards the end of February. It is the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Falgun. This festival is celebrated by singing dancing etc


It is another interesting festival of Sherpa which is celebrated twice yearly in Khumbu region in the months of May and November. This festival is celebrated with religious dancing by various Buddhist monks.


It is an interesting festival of Sherpa, which is celebrated for seven days in the different villages, Gumbas or monasteries during the month of July. This festival is celebrated on the occasion of finishing their agricultural works.


In this community, the famous traditional dresses are of woolen types. Here both sex use the ornaments. Male wears gan, Kundal, Ring, Bengal etc and female wear Jantar, Sribindu etc. Sherpa women don't put an ornament on their nose.

  • Religion

In Sherpa's community, there can be seen two types of sects. One is Ningmapa, which is originated from Buddhist religion and another one is npo. Comparatively the followers of Ningmapa sects are much more in number than i Bonpo. The main god Ningmapa is Padmasambhav. Their main Mantra. is Om manipad e hun. The main god of Bonpo sects is Bonyosheravi and their main mantra is Om matri Muye saledu. The architectural structure of Chaittya and Gumba are the circulating the Chaittya and same for both of them. While god and Gumba, the Buddhists circle through right side of Lama Bonpoists circle through left side. In this society, the plays a great role. Lama does every ritual ceremony. Except this, there can be seen a family deity in every household.

  • Life-style

The economic life of Sharpa is directly related that mountain. studying their life style, it can be noted they are engaged in different jobs agriculture, business industrial works, labor etc. Their main economic source is They produce maize, potatoes etc. Another business is livestock. For the live- stock use sheep, etc. From this they milk with Tibetan. active in business. Their main business is rel Namche bazar is the main trading center of village. In industrial sector also they are perfect. Another occupation with so popular is mountain climbing. They work with the foreigner as the mountain climbers or porters of them. They carry their uggage as well. So, we can see their a duel life style.

Sherpas spend their life-style in Khumbu village range between 10,000 feet above sea level. There is mush show in Khumbu, usually two to four feet during a winter and the weather is very cold. During this season they envolved in trade and commerse, and they travel up to Darjeeling and the Terai of Nepal for almost five months in search of work and money. After that, they normally return to their home for the New year celebration which is called Lhosar in the month of February.