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Brogpa Minaro, Dakpa, Sangtengpa
Kashmir Ladakh women in local costume.jpg
Brokpa women dressed in folk costume in Ladakh
Total population
48,439 (2011 census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Garkon, Dha-Hanu, Sharchay, Chulichan-Batalik in Ladakh and Gilgit-Baltistan
Islam - 45,103[2]
Buddhist - 3,144[2]
Hindu - 133[2]
Related ethnic groups
Other Dards and Indo-Aryans

The Brokpa are a small community of Dard people who had migrated to the eastern regions of Kashmir in the remote past. They speak a language called Brokstat, an Indo-European Shina language, which is unintelligeble with other Shina dialects. They are mostly found in the Indian-administered Ladakh, but a few also in Pakistan-administered Baltistan.

They are mainly found in Dha, Hanu, Beama, Garkon, Darchiks, Batalik, Sharchay and Chulichan.[citation needed] Part of the community are also located in the Deosai plateau just across the Line of Control in the villages Ganoaks, Morol, Dananusar, and Chechethang in Baltistan. They are said to have originally come from Chilas and settled in the area generations ago. The Brokpa in the Leh district are mostly Buddhist while those in the Kargil district are mostly Muslim. A small percentage also follow Hinduism.[2]


Minaro is an alternate ethnic name. 'Brogpa' is the name given by the Ladakhi to the people.[3] It derives from Drukpa, which comes from the Tibetan word 'Drugu' (for an ethnic Turk.) Or it may just mean འབྲོག་པ། (pronounced Brokpa in Ladakh) a word for nomads.


The traditional Brogpa diet is based on locally grown foods such as barley and hardy wheat prepared most often as tsampa/sattu (roasted flour). It takes in different ways.[clarification needed] Other important foods include potatoes, radishes, turnips, and Gur-Gur Cha, a brewed tea made of black tea, butter and salt.

Dairy and poultry sources are not eaten because of religious taboos. Brogpa eat three meals a day: Choalu Unis (breakfast), Beali (lunch) and Rata Unis (dinner). Brogpa vary with respect to the amount of meat (mainly mutton) that they eat. A household's economic position decides the consumption of meat. It is only during festivals and rituals that all have greater access to mutton.[4]

Economy and employment[edit]

The Brogpa economy has shifted from agropastoralism to wage labor, and the division of labor that relied on stratifications of age and gender is now obsolete. The Brogpa transition to private property, monogamy, nuclear families, formal education, wage labor, and their incorporation into a highly militarized economy of soldiering and portering illuminates the complex workings of modernity in Ladakh.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ST-14 Scheduled Tribe Population By Religious Community". Census of India. Ministry of Home Affairs, India. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Religion Data of Census 2011: XXXIII JK-HP-ST". Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Brokskat". Ethnologue. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Bhasin, Veena: Social Change, Religion and Medicine among Brokpas of Ladakh, Ethno-Med., 2(2): 77-102 (2008)" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  5. ^ Bhan, Mona. "Becoming Brogpa". Counterinsurgency, Democracy and the Politics of Identity in India. Routledge South Asia Series.

External links[edit]