Kham Magar

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Pang (Nepali: Pang)
Western Magar
Regions with significant populations
Magar Pang language
Magar kura
Related ethnic groups
All aborigines groups

Western magar are descriptive terms invented by academic linguists and anthropologists for a nationality in the Middle Hills of mid-western Nepal inhabiting highlands extending through eastern Rukum and northern Salyan, Rolpa and Pyuthan Districts in RaptiZone as well as Dhaulagiri and Bheri Zones. They speak a complex of Tibeto-Burman distinct language called magar Pang.But there is no any confusion that magar Pang,magar kaike and magar dhut are same languages they have derived from Pali language.


Due to their oral mythology and distinctive Shamanistic practices, Western Magar are thought to have originally migrated from Siberia according to shamanic tradition but some Magar writers have written that they are originated in Rukum district. There is no obvious proof of where they come from. Their cultural traditions are not different from that of the Dhut Magars and Kaike Magars; they are the same. There are three languages and are related. These three languages are derived from same Pali language.

Western Magar[edit]

Western Magar inhabit highlands 3,000–4,000 metres (9,800–13,100 ft) above sea level, some 50 km (31 mi) south of the Dhaulagiri range, forming a triple divide between the Karnali-Bheri system to the west, the Gandaki system to the east, and the smaller (west) Rapti and Babai river systems that separate the two larger systems south of this point. Since the uppermost tributaries of the Karnali and Gandaki rise beyond the highest Himalaya ranges, trade routes linking India and Tibet developed along these rivers, whereas high ridges along the Rapti's northern watershed and then the Dhaulagiri massif beyond were rigorous obstacles. Similarly, Hindu people in Hindu muslim conflicts brahaman peoples settled out around these highlands with the western magars by following the Mahabharat Range to the south or Dhorpatan valley to the north which—by Himalayan standards—offers exceptionally easy east-west passage. The western magar highlands may also have been left as a buffer between the easternmost Baise kingdom, Salyan, and the westernmost Chaubisi kingdom, Pyuthan. For the Hindu brahaman, the intervening highlands, unsuited for rice cultivation, were hardly worth contesting


Legal hashish shop, Kathmandu, 1973

After unification of Nepal coming Shaha king, official neglect, underdevelopment and poverty essentially continued through the 19th and 20th centuries. The main export was manpower as mercenaries to the British and Indian armies, or whatever other employment opportunities could be found for largely uneducated and unskilled labor. Western magar also practice transhumance by grazing cattle, sheep and goats in summer pastures in subalpine and alpine pastures to the north, working their way down to winter pastures in the Dang-Deukhuri valleys. Despite unending toil, food shortages have become a growing problem that still persists. Food deficits were historically addressed by grain imports bought dearly with distant work at low wages.

As some corrupted development brought schools, electricity, motor roads, hospitals and a some range of consumer goods to specific surrounding areas, few benefits trickled up into the highlands and contrasts became even more invidious. Development introduced motor transport, which diminished porterage employment. Cultivating hemp and processing it into charas (hashish) lost standing as an income generator after 1976 when international pressure persuaded the national government to outlaw these recreational drugs and close government stores where those so inclined could freely purchase what was illegal in most of the world.But hindu government directly indirectly encouraged the drugs.

Western magar participation in Nepalese Civil War[edit]

Despite adversity,magar people retained a robust oral history and a sense of past greatness, which created grievances and made them receptive to the Maobadi (Maoist) movement that opposed the Shah regime in the 1996-2006 Nepalese Civil War and even the multiparty democracy that the Shahs toyed with. The Rolpa and Rukum districts in the center of the magars homelands became known as the Maoist heartland and western magars were prominent as footsoldiers of its guerrilla forces.

Kham Festivals[edit]

Bhume Naach / Bal puja is one of the festivals celebrated by the magar people. The main celebration takes place during the first week of June.