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The Magars
Magars
are one of the ethno linguistic groups of Nepal representing 7.13% of the Nepal's total population as per the census of 2011. Their ancestral homeland extends from the Western and the Southern edges of the Dhaulagiri
Dhaulagiri
range of the Himalayas
Himalayas
to the Mahabharat foothills in the South and Kali Gandaki river basin in the East. The Magars
Magars
ruled while establishing their own kingdoms in ancient Nepal
Nepal
called the Bara Magaranth (12 Magar Kingdoms) located east of the Gandaki River
Gandaki River
and the Athara Magaranth (18 Magar Kingdoms) located west of the Gandaki River
Gandaki River
inhabited by the Kham Magars.

Contents

1 Origin 2 History 3 Subdivisions 4 Language 5 Magar Words in Use 6 Religion 7 Dress and ornaments 8 Occupations 9 Military service 10 Notable Magars 11 Politics 12 Notes 13 References 14 External links

Origin[edit]

A Magar woman dancing in her traditional dress carrying a bamboo basket during the festival of Maghe Sakranti in Sydney.

Magar people are believed to have migrated from Sikkim like other prominent ethnic groups.[citation needed] Mythical stories on the Origins of Magars: There are interesting mythical stories describing the origins of Magars. Three different versions relative to three different language groups are presented.[2] The Magar of the Bahra Magaranth east of the Kali Gandaki River) are said to have originated in the land of Seem. Two brothers, Seem Magar and Chintoo Magar, fought, and one remained in Seem, while the other left, ending up in Kangwachen in southern Sikkim. The Bhutia
Bhutia
people lived at the northern end of this region. Over time, the Magars
Magars
became very powerful and made the northern Bhutia
Bhutia
their vassals. Sintoo Sati Sheng ruled in a very despotic manner, and the Bhutia
Bhutia
conspired to assassinate him. Sheng's queen took revenge and poisoned 1,000 Bhutia people at a place now called Tong Song Fong, meaning "where a thousand were murdered". The Bhutia
Bhutia
later drove the Magar out, forcing them to again migrate further south. As part of this migration, one group migrated to Simrongadh, one group moved towards the Okhaldhunga region, and another group seems to have returned to the east. No dates are given. A second Magar federation called Athara Magarat
Magarat
was situated west of the Gandaki River, inhabited by western magars. History[edit]

Magar group, military tribe, Nepal

Magar man, military tribe, Nepal

The first written history about Magar people dates as back as 1100 AD.[3] But it is widely accepted that they have resided around Palpa from time immemorial. They are also thought to be the earliest settlers from the north.[citation needed] This part of the country was formerly divided into twelve districts, each under its own ruler, being known as the Barah, or twelve Magarant[4] or twelve Thams, the members of each supposedly being of common extraction in the male line. Some records show these twelve areas as being Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Isma, Musikot, Khanchi, Ghiring, Rising, Bhirkot, Payung, Garhung, Dhor and Satung.[5] However, it is probable that some of the latter places should have been excluded in favour of Palpa, Galkot, Dhurkot, Char Hajar, Parbat, and even Piuthan
Piuthan
and Salyan.[6] The Magars
Magars
of middle and western region also played a role in Nepal's formative history. Their kingdom was one of the strongest of west Nepal
Nepal
in and around Palpa District
Palpa District
during the time of the 22 and 24 rajya principalities (17th and early 18th centuries).[7] The 18th-century king, Prithvi Narayan Shah, the founder of the modern Kingdom of Nepal
Nepal
was announced and loved to call himself the King of Magarat. Many prominent historians of Nepal
Nepal
have claimed that Aramudi, an eighth-century ruler of the Kali Gandaki region, was a Magar King.[8][9][10][11] "Aramudi" derives from the word for 'river' in the Magar language.[12] 'Ari'-'Source of Water' + 'Modi'-'River'='Arimodi' or 'Aramudi', thus the literal meaning of Aramudi is source of river. But due to the lack of historical evidence there are some conflicting ideas among the historians. Subdivisions[edit] The Magars
Magars
are structured with septs (clans), followed by sub-septs (sub-clans). The smallest groups are gotras. Broadly speaking, Magars
Magars
are divided into two main groups: Baraha Magaratis and Athara Magaratis. Before the unification of Nepal
Nepal
in the 18th century by the King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Magarat
Magarat
land was divided into two Magarat
Magarat
states. West of Kali Gandaki was called eighteen Magarat
Magarat
and East of Kali Gandaki was called twelve Magarat. They are mainly Ale, Budha, Pun, Rana and Thapa
Thapa
clans. Within these seven clans, more than 1100 sub-clans can be found. These Magar clans intermarry with one another and are equal in social standing.[6] Linguistically, the Magars
Magars
are divided into three groups. Baraha Magaratis speak Dhut dialect, whereas Athara Magaratis speak Pang and Kaike dialects. MagarDhut-speakers: Rana, Ale, Thapa, Gurmachan, Singjali, Rakhal, Ashlami, Gahaga, Darlami, Masarangi, Khadka, Gharti, Naamjyali, Bucha, Saru, Khamcha, Pulami, mangrati/magarati and all magar clans and sub clans residing in twelve Magarats. MagarPang-speakers: Ale, Budha, Gurmachan, Gharti, Pun, Rana, Roka, mangrati/magarati,Thapa,Jhankri,Shreesh, Burathoki,Garbuja,Purja,Ramjali,jugjali and all magar clans and sub clans residing in eighteen Magarat. KaikeMagar-speakers: Tarali Magar of Dolpa/Budha, Gharti, Roka magar, Kayat, Jhankri all Magar clans residing in Dolpa and Karnali districts. Language[edit] Main article: Magar language Of the 2,064,000 Magar people in Nepal, nearly 788,530 speak a Magar language as their mother tongue. The western inhabitants of Nepal
Nepal
did not speak the language in the past. But recently, almost everyone has started learning the language. The western magars of Rapti Zone speak Magar Pang kura. In Dolpa District, the Magar speak Magar Kaike language. The Magar languages are rooted in the Bodic branch of the Tibetan family. Magar Dhut kura speakers are all Magar clans residing in twelve Magarats. Similarly Magar Pang kura speakers are all magar clans from eighteen Magarats. Magar Kaike language speakers are all magar clans in Karnali zone. The 1971 census put the total population of those who spoke the Magar language at 288,383, i.e. 2.49 percent of the total population of Nepal, of which more than half lived in the Western hills of Nepal.[13] Magar Words in Use[edit] Many Magar words are used even today, especially as location names. Magar toponyms in Nepali include: tilaurakot (place selling sesame seed), kanchanjunga (clear peak), and * Tansen
Tansen
(straight wood)[14] Some scholars opine that the amount of Magar words in Nepali indicates that Magarat
Magarat
(historic Magar lands) were larger than generally believed, extending from Dhading to Doti.[15] They note that the place suffix -Kot indicates a place from which Magar kings formerly ruled. Religion[edit] Magars
Magars
follow hinduism (shaiva) with a priest called pithakote, the social process of Sanskritization has drawn some southern Magar population to develop a syncretic form of bon that combines animist and Buddhist
Buddhist
rituals.The original religions or beliefs of Magar people are Shamanism, Animism, Ancestor worship, hinduism and the northern nepals Magar practice Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism
Buddhism
and shamanism(Bon) in which their priest is known as Lama Guru'.

Magars
Magars
of Western Nepal
Nepal
have been practicing Lamaismshamanism during their kul pooja.

Many Magar Priests got mixed into khas Society and became one of them. Animists and shamanism form part of the local belief system; their dhami (the faith healer or a kind of shaman) is called Dangar and their jhankri (another kind of faith healer or shaman) is called was the traditional spiritual and social leader of the Magars.[16] Magars have an informal cultural institution, called Bhujel, who performs religious activities, organizes social and agriculture-related festivities, brings about reforms in traditions and customs, strengthens social and production system, manages resources, settles cases and disputes and systematizes activities for recreation and social solidarity.[17] Dress and ornaments[edit] The Magar of the low hills wear the ordinary kachhad or wrap-on-loincloth, a bhoto or a shirt of vest, and the usual Nepali topi. The women wear the pariya or sari or lunghi, chaubandhi cholo or a closed blouse and the heavy patuka or waistband, and the mujetro or shawl-like garment on the head. Men living in the Tarakot area even wear the Tibetan chhuba. The ornaments are the madwari on the ears, bulaki on the nose and the phuli on the left nostril, the silver coin necklace"[haari]" and the pote (yellow beads) with the tilhari gold cylinder, [jantar], [dhungri], [naugedi], [phul] and kuntha. Magar males do not wear many ornaments, but some are seen to have silver earrings, hanging from their earlobes, called "gokkul". The magar girls wear the amulet or locket necklace, and women of the lower hills and the high-altitude ones wear these made of silver with muga stones embedded in them and kantha. The bangles of silver and glass are also worn on their hands along with the sirbandhi, sirphuli and chandra on their heads. These are large pieces of gold beaten in elongated and circular shapes. Occupations[edit] Agriculture and the military are the primary sources of income. Magars constitute the largest number of Gurkha
Gurkha
soldiers outside Nepal.[18][19] Sarbajit Rana Magar became the head of government during the regency of Queen Rajendra Laxmi.[20] Biraj Thapa
Thapa
Magar winner of limbuwan, General Abhiman Singh Rana Magar and Sarbajit Rana Magar headed the Nepal
Nepal
army. Biraj Thapa
Thapa
Magar was the very first army chief in Nepal
Nepal
Army's history.[21] Magars
Magars
are famous as gallant warriors wherever they served in the past. The Magars
Magars
are well represented in Nepal's military, as well as in the Singapore Police Force, the British and Indian Gurkha
Gurkha
regiments. They are also employed as professionals in the fields of medicine, education, government service, law, journalism, development, aviation and in business in Nepal
Nepal
and other countries. Dor Bahadur Bista's observation of Magar's occupation during the 1960s was:

Some of the northernmost Magars
Magars
have become quite prosperous by engaging in long-range trading that takes them from near the northern border to the Terai, and even beyond to Darjeeling and Calcutta. Were it not for their role in the Gurkha
Gurkha
regiments of the Indian and British armies, their self-sufficiency might be endangered.[22]

Toni Hagen, who did his field research in Nepal
Nepal
during the 1950s, observed:

Magars
Magars
possess considerable skill as craftsmen: they are the bridge builders and blacksmiths among the Nepalese, and the primitive mining is largely in their hands. On the lower courses of the Bheri & Karnali rivers, a great number of Magars
Magars
annually migrate to the Terai & there manufacture bamboo panniers, baskets, and mats for sale in the bazaars along the borders. In their most northerly settlement, on the other hand, the important trading centre of Tarakot on the Barbung river, they have largely adopted their way of life, their clothes, and their religion to that of the Tibetans; like the latter, they also live by the salt trade. As regard race, the Magars
Magars
have almond-shaped eyes or even open eyes, whereas Mongoloid eyes are very rare.[23]

Military service[edit] A number of Magars
Magars
have distinguished themselves in military service under the British military. Dipprasad Pun was the first Nepali winner of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross in Afghanistan in 2010. In the two world wars, total 5 Victoria Cross (out of 13 VCs awarded to Gurkhas) were awarded to the Magars:[24]

First World War:

Rifleman Kulbir Thapa
Thapa
was the very first Gurkha
Gurkha
to win VC in recognition of his valor and bravery. He was from Gulmi, Bharse. He served in 2/3 Gurkha
Gurkha
Regiment (GR). He received VC in France in 1915. Rifleman Karanbahadur Rana, Gulmi
Gulmi
was from 2/3 GR. He received VC in Egypt in 1918.

Second World War:

Subedar Lalbahadur Thapa, Nepal
Nepal
Tara[25] was from 2nd GR. He received VC in Tunisia in 1943. Honorable Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun
Tul Bahadur Pun
was from 6th GR. He received VC in Burma in 1944. Subedar Netrabahadur Thapa
Thapa
was from 5th GR. He received VC in Burma in 1944.

Notable Magars[edit]

Kaji Biraj Thapa
Thapa
Magar, the very first Chief of Nepalese Army, 18th century. General Abhiman Singh Rana Magar, Nepalese Army Chief, 19th century. Narayan Singh Pun, a former minister in Nepal, pilot and lieutenant colonel in the Royal Nepal
Nepal
Army. Also founding president of Nepal Samata Party. Master Mitrasen Thapa, famous Nepali folk singer, social worker, resident of Bhagsu/Dharmasala, (India). Gore Bahadur Khapangi, former minister and founding leader of Prajatantrik Janamukti Party. Giri Prasad Burathoki, only Bada Hakim from Magars, Defense Minister, Honorary Major General of Nepalese Army. Onsari Gharti Magar, the first female speaker of Parliament of Nepal. Balaram Gharti Magar, held different ministries for 11 times including Defense Minister of Nepal
Nepal
Government. Lakhan Thapa
Thapa
Magar, first martyr of Nepal. Jaybahadur Hitan Magar, 1st Central Executive Committee (Damauli, 2039 B.S.) Secretary of Nepal
Nepal
Magar Association. Rom Bahadur Thapa, First Inspector General of Nepal
Nepal
Police from Magar ethnic group. Khadga Jeet Baral Magar, Ex IGP, Chief of Nepal
Nepal
Police. Teriya Magar, Dancer. Barsaman Pun, first finance minister of Nepal
Nepal
from Magar community. He is from Rolpa district. Nanda Bahadur Pun, first vice president of federal republic Nepal. Kuber Singh Rana, ex IGP Chief of Nepal
Nepal
Police from Palpa. Mahabir Pun, Magsaysay Award winner for extending wireless technologies in rural parts of Nepal. Bimal Gharti Magar, Football player

Politics[edit] Under the leadership of minister Giri Prasad Burathoki, a first ever Magar Convention was held in Bharse of Gulmi
Gulmi
District, one of the 12 Magarats in 1957. The objective of the conference was to sensitize the Magars
Magars
to come forward in the national spectrum.[26] Later Magar political and social organisations included Nepal
Nepal
Langhali Pariwar (1972), Nepal
Nepal
Langhali Pariwar Sang, and Langhali Pariwar Sangh. Notes[edit]

^ cbs.gov.np/image/data/Population/National%20Report/National%20Report.pdf ^ Tribal Ethnography of Nepal, Volume II, by Dr. Rajesh Gautam and Asoke K. Thapa
Thapa
Magar. ^ Eden Vansittart. 1993 (reprint). Sohab Rana Magar was also a ruler in Dullu Dailekh, western Nepal
Nepal
in AD 1100 (the earliest copper plate inscription from Nepal, 1977); a copper plate. The Gurkhas. New Delhi:Anmol Publications. p.21. ^ Northey, W. Brook & C. J. Morris. 1927. The Gurkhas Their Manners, Customs and Country. Delhi : Cosmo Publications. (122-125) ^ Brian Hodgson and Captain T Smith also give this information. Eden Vansittart. 1993 reprint. The Gurkhas. p.84. ^ a b Ministry of Defence. 1965. Nepal
Nepal
and the Gurkhas. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office.p. 27. ^ Dor Bahadur Bista. 1972. People of Nepal. Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar. p. 62. ^ Tek Bahadur Shrestha. 2003. Parvat Rajyako Aitihasik Ruprekha. Kirtipur: T.U. ^ Dr Swami Prapannacharya. (1994-95) Ancient Kirant History. Varanasi: Kirateshwar Prakashan. p. 518. ^ Hark Gurung, Iman Singh Chemjong, B.K. Rana, Prof. Raja Ram Subedi, Prof. Jagadish Chandra
Chandra
Regmi etc. support the conclusion of Aramudi being the king of Kali Gandaki Region. ^ Mahesh Chaudhary. 2007. "Nepalko Terai
Terai
tatha Yeska Bhumiputraharu". p. 9 ^ Tek Bahadur Shrestha. Op. cit. ^ Rishikesh Shaha. 1975. An Introduction of Nepal. Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar. p. 38. ^ Balaram Gharti Magar. 1999. Roots. Tara Nath Sharma (Tr.). Lalitpur: Balaram Gharti Magar. ^ Balaram Gharti Magar, 1999. Ibid. ^ , 1996:66 ^ . 1996. "Bheja as a Cultural Strategic Cultural Convention. Community Resource Management in the Barha Maagarat." Occasional Papers in Sociology and Anthropology, Volume 5, Tribhuvan University. ^ Dor Bahadur Bista. 1972. People of Nepal. Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar. p.664. ^ Eden Vansittart. 1993 (Reprint). The Gurkhas. New Delhi: Anmol Publications. p.67. ^ Rishikesh Shaha. 1975. p.32. ^ Army Chiefs' Historical Record. Army Museum. Chhauni, Kathmandu, Nepal. ^ Dor Bahadur Bista. 1972. p.64. ^ Tony Hagen. 1970. Nepal
Nepal
the Kingdom in the Himalayas. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. p.84. ^ Y.M. Bammi. 2009. Gorkhas of the Indian Army. New Delhi: Life Span Publishers & Distributors. p.93. ^ Pradeep Thapa
Thapa
Magar. 2000. Veer Haruka pani Veer Mahaveer. p.9. ^ B. K. Rana - Sanchhipta Magar Itihas 2003 - p. 82

References[edit]

Acharya, Baburam, Nepalako Samkshipta Itihasa (A short history of Nepal), edited by Devi Prasad Bhandari, Purnima No. 48, Chaitra 2037 (March–April 1981), Chapter VII: Pachhillo Licchavi Rajya, (I. Sam. 642-880 Am.) Aryal, Jibnarayan. (2058BS). Dr Harsha Bahadur Buda Magar: Bigat ra Bartaman. Lalitpur: Dr Harsha Bahadur Budha Magar. Bajracharya, Dhanabajra. (2064 BS). Gopalraj Vanshawali Aitihasik Vivechana. Kirtipur: T.U. Bammi, Y.M. (2009). Gurkhas of the Indian Army. New Delhi: Life Span Publishers & Distributors. Bamzai, P.N.K. (1994). Culture and Political History of Kashmir. Vol 1. Ancient Kashmir. New Delhi: MD Publications Pvt Ltd. Bista, Dor Bahadur. (1972). People of Nepal. Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar. Budha Magar, Harsha Bahadur. (1992)Kirat Vansha ra Magar haru. Kathmandu: Unnati Bohora. Cross, J.P. (1986). In Gurkhas Company. London: Arms & Armour Press Ltd. Gharti Magar, Balaram. (1999). Roots. Taranath Sharma (Tr.). Lalitpur: Balaram Gharti Magar. Hagen, Tony. (1970). Nepal
Nepal
the Kingdom in the Himalayas. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Ministry of Defence. (1965). Nepal
Nepal
and the Gurkhas. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Nepal, Gyanmani. (2040BS). Nepal
Nepal
Nirukta. Kathmandu: Nepal
Nepal
Rajakiya Pragyapratisthan. Northey, W. Brook & C. J. Morris. (1927). The Gurkhas Their Manners, Customs and Country. Delhi : Cosmo Publications. Palsokar, R.D. (1991). History of the 5th Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force), Vol III. 1858 to 1991. Shillong: The Commandant, 58 Gorkha Training Centre. Rana, B. K. (2003). Sanchhipta Magar Itihas (A Concise Hiostroy of Magars) Shaha, Rishikesh. (1975). An Introduction of Nepal. Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar. Stein, M.A. (2007). Kalhana's Rajatarangini: A Chronicles of Kings of Kashmir. Vol I, II, & III (Reprint). Srinagar: Gulshan Books. Sufi, G.M.D. (1974). Kashir a History of Kashmir. Vol 1. New Delhi: Light & Life Publishers. Thapa
Thapa
Magar, Pradeep. (2000). Bir Haruka pani Bir Mahavir. Kathmandu: Bhaktabir Thapa
Thapa
Magar. Vansittart, Eden. (1993)(reprint). The Gurkhas. New Delhi: Anmol Publications. Pramod Thapa
Thapa
(Chief engineer at Dell international Services) An account Kingdom of Nepal
Nepal
Frances Hamilton, Rishikesh Shah,

External links[edit]

Magars
Magars
test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Nepal
Nepal
Magar Association, Central Committee, Kathmandu Nepal. Magar Studies Center Magar Academic Group https://www.magarusa.org The Magar language - Linguistics research - Folktales in Magar (Western) - Nepal

v t e

Ethnic groups in Nepal
Nepal
by by language family

Sino-Tibetan (Trans-Himalayan)

High altitudes

Darchula Bhotiya Lo (Mustang) Bhotiya Sherpa (Bhotia) Hyolmo Jirel Nepalese Central Tibetic

Lhomi (Sing Saapa) Siyar (Chumba) Larke Dolpa, etc.

Central Tibetans Kachee

Burig

Sunuwar and Rai Yakthung

South East

Sunuwar Bahing

Central Rai

Khambu Rai

Kulung

Bantawa

Eastern Rai

Lohorung Yakha

Limbu (Yakthung)

Tamangic

Chhantyal Gurung (Tamu)

Manang bas

Tamang

Ghale Lama clan (Tamang)

Thakali Kaike Magar

Magar

Dhut Kham/Pang

Chepang Bhujel Raji–Raute

Raji Raute Rawat

Dura Lepcha (Rong) Dhimal Koch Meche

Indo-Aryan

Eastern Pahari

Khas

Palpa-speakers Jumli-speakers

Miyan

Nepalese Madhesi

Maithil Bhojpuri Rajbansi

Newars

Newar
Newar
community

Over 25 distinct castes, major being Shresthas, Chathariya, Jyapu, Vajracharya, Rajopadhyaya Brahmins, Chitrakar, Khadgi, Manandhar, Dhobi, Pode, Ranjitkar, Mali, etc.

Newar
Newar
Muslim

Indian Madhesi

Indian Maithil Bihari

Bhojpuri Bajjika etc.

Awadhi other Madhesi

H U

Kumauni Kashmiris Kumhali Kushbadiya (Guhari)

Indo-Aryan of a distinct origin

Danuar Rai Bote Kuswaric Majhi Darai Tharu Hill Khadiya/Bankariya Rajbansi Kisan of Oraon Sadri Kushbadiya (Guhari)

Other peoples (M, D, i) of Indus-Ganga

Kusunda Munda Satar Dudh and Dhelki Khadiya/Bankariya Jangad/Dhangad/Uraun

Kisan

Immigrants

Korean Filipino Russian

Other basis

By Caste

Kshetri Rajopadhyaya Bahun Shresthas Jyapu Vajracharya Pulami Kami Damai/Dholi Thakuri Sarki Unspecified Dalit Kalwar Dhobi Mali Gaine/Gandarbha

By geography

Mountain people (Buddhist/Animism) Hill people (Eastern Paharis and Newars, Hindu/Buddhist) Kirati (East, mostly Mundhum/Buddhist) Terai
Terai
(Madhesi, Tharu, Danuwar and Dhimal) (Lowland) Western Nepal
Nepal
( Hindu
Hindu
dominant) Nepali Muslim (South)

By law

Janajati

Madheshi Janajati

Misc

Adivasi Simantakrit

About one third of Madhesi people
Madhesi people
are of Indian ancestry while the other two thir

.