Chepang

Chepang

About Chepang

Chepang is the commonly used name given to an indigenous ethnic group living in central and southern Nepal. The language is also known as Chepang but is called Chyo-bang by the people themselves. Some Bahun Chettri castes call these people the "Praja" meaning "political subjects". The people speak 3 different dialects of this Tibeto-Burman language that is closely related to Raute and Raji, two undocumented languages spoken in western Nepal. Chepang language is one of the few languages which uses a duodecimal (base 12) counting system rather than the decimal (base 10). Chepang traditionally practised some slash-and-burn agriculture, or simple hoe-based horticulture along with mostly hunting and gathering from the forests. Since being resettled in southern Nepal and impinged upon by Nepali speaking groups, Chepang have begun plow-based agriculture. Chepang men and women are basically egalitarian and no social ranking exists as it does in caste Nepalese society.

Contributions by Krish Dulal, Kwamikagami, and PhilKnight.