India | Sikkim


Lepchas, also known as Rong-pas, is one of the important tribes of Sikkim. Lepchas are marked by Mongolian features and resemble the tribes of Hangarang in the North West Frontier Province and the mountain tribes of the Laree area in Ladakh.

Formerly, the Lepchas had blood relation only with the Limbus, but now no restriction has been maintained in establishing matrimonial relations with other tribes. Polyandry was prevalent among the Lepchas in the past. Marriage of wards is normally negotiated by the parents, and is celebrated with much feasting.

Lepchas are animists, and believe in the existence of God and bad spirits. Every class has a priest doctor, either male or female, who is an exorcist. The language spoken by the Lepchas is Rong-ring, which is a member of the Tibeto-Burman language group. Lepchas are intelligent, amiable and cheerful and love sports and games.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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