Ngalop people

Ngalop
Total population
708,500[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
Western, Northern and parts of South-East and South Bhutan (Thimphu, Gasa, Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang, Haa, Paro, Chukha)
Languages
Dzongkha
Religion
Buddhism · Bon
Related ethnic groups
Tibetan · Monpa · Sharchop · Other Sino-Tibetan-speaking peoples, Tibeto-Burman and Tai peoples of Assam

The Ngalop (Dzongkha: སྔལོངཔ་ Wylie: snga long pa; "earliest risen people" or "first converted people" according to folk etymology)[1] are people of Tibetan origin who migrated to Bhutan as early as the ninth century. Orientalists adopted the term "Bhote" or Bhotiya, meaning "people of Bod (Tibet)", a term also applied to the Tibetan people, leading to confusion, and now is rarely used in reference to the Ngalop.

The Ngalop introduced Tibetan culture and Buddhism to Bhutan and comprise the dominant political and cultural element in modern Bhutan. Furthermore, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic identity in Bhutan are not always mutually exclusive. For these reasons, Ngalops are often simply identified as Bhutanese. Their language, Dzongkha, is the national language and is descended from Old Tibetan. The Ngalop are dominant in western and northern Bhutan, including Thimphu and the Dzongkha-speaking region. The term Ngalop may subsume several related linguistic and cultural groups, such as the Kheng people and speakers of Bumthang language.[1][2][3]

Population

The Ngalop are concentrated in the western and central valleys of Bhutan, whose total population in 2010 was about 708,500 (This is the total population of Bhutan, not the population of Ngalops. The population of Ngalops could be less than 250000) .[4] Together the Ngalop, Sharchops and tribal groups constituted up to 72 percent of the population in the late 1980s according to official Bhutanese statistics.[2][5] The 1981 census claimed Sharchops represented 30% of the population and Ngalops about 17%.[6] The World Factbook, however, estimates the "Bhote" Ngalop and Sharchop populations together to total about 50 percent, or 354,200.[4]

Language

Ngalops speak Dzongkha. As Ngalops are politically and culturally dominant in Bhutan, Dzongkha is the language of government and education throughout the kingdom. Other groups that identify as culturally Ngalop speak the Kheng and Bumthang languages. To a large extent, even the Sharchops of eastern Bhutan, who speak Tshangla, have adopted Ngalop culture and may identify as Ngalop.[1][2][7]

Religion

Ngalops largely follow Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Vajrayana that is the state religion of Bhutan. A significant number also follow the Nyingma school, which was dominant in early Bhutanese history.

Bon

Bon practitioners are a minority, although the practices of the Ngalops, like that of most Bhutanese, are characterized by incorporated elements of the older ethnic religion that is also referred to by the term Bon.[2][8]

Lifestyle

The primary agricultural crops are Bhutanese red rice, potatoes, barley, and other temperate climate crops. Ngalop people build houses out of timber, stone, clay, and brick. The Ngalop are also known for building large fortress-monasteries known as dzongs that now serve as government offices. The Druk Gyalpo and most of the government are Ngalop, and all citizens of the country are required to follow the national dress code, the driglam namzha, which is Ngalop in origin.[2][9]

The Ngalops follow matrilineal lines in the inheritance of land and livestock.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c van Driem, George L. (1993). "Language Policy in Bhutan". London: SOAS. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Robert L. Worden (September 1991). Andrea Matles Savada (ed.). Bhutan: A Country Study. Federal Research Division. Ethnic Groups.
  3. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Robert L. Worden (September 1991). Andrea Matles Savada (ed.). Bhutan: A Country Study. Federal Research Division. Introduction.
  4. ^ a b Bhutan. The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
  5. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Robert L. Worden (September 1991). Andrea Matles Savada (ed.). Bhutan: A Country Study. Federal Research Division. Society.
  6. ^ "Bhutan Backgrounder". SATP online. South Asia Terrorism Portal. 20 September 2002. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  7. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Robert L. Worden (September 1991). Andrea Matles Savada (ed.). Bhutan: A Country Study. Federal Research Division. Languages.
  8. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Robert L. Worden (September 1991). Andrea Matles Savada (ed.). Bhutan: A Country Study. Federal Research Division. Religious Tradition.
  9. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Robert L. Worden (September 1991). Andrea Matles Savada (ed.). Bhutan: A Country Study. Federal Research Division. Housing.
  10. ^ "Women in Agriculture, Environment and Rural Production" (PDF). Fact Sheet Bhutan. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
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