Gurung people

Last updated
Total population
Tamu kyi, Manangi,(Mustangi) Loki, and Seke
Buddhism, Bon, Hinduism
Related ethnic groups
Tamang, Thakali and Sherpa
Gurung Ghatu Dance in Tamu Lhosar festival Tamu-lhosar-0714.jpg
Gurung Ghatu Dance in Tamu Lhosar festival

The Gurung people, also called Tamu, are an ethnic group in the hills and mountains of Gandaki Province of Nepal. [1] They live in Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Lamjung, Parbat, Dolpo and Syangja, Dhading districts, with a population of 522,641 people as of 2011. [2] They speak the Sino-Tibetan Gurung language.



According to their legend, the Gurung were a wandering tribe that traversed west across Tibet prior to their entry into Mustang. Their Tibetan Sojourn pre-dates the introduction of Buddhism there in the 7th century as the Gurung religious traditions are basically animistic. They celebrate their feasts and festivals and carry out the ceremonies and practices related to worship, birth, death and marriage in accordance with the Bon and Buddhist religion.

Losar is the main and biggest festival of Gurung, observed it as a New Year at the end of December, according to the ancient calendar of western Tibet. Their main occupation is animal husbandry, including the raising of sheep and hunting. Lately they have a fame of joining British army and renowned as Gorkha soldier. [3]

Gurung (Ghale) village (Manang) Manang village in 1985.jpg
Gurung (Ghale) village (Manang)

Geographical distribution

Manang Nepal - z vystavniho souboru Manang (1979).jpg

At the time of the 2011 Nepal census, 522,641 people (2.0% of the population of Nepal) identified as Gurung. The frequency of the Gurung people was higher than national average in the following districts: Manang (52.4%), Lamjung (31.3%), Mustang (21.4%), Gorkha (16.7%), Kaski (16.6%), Tanahun (11.5%), Syangja (9.0%), Dolpa (7.1%), Chitwan (6.8%), Dhading (5.5%), Sankhuwasabha (5.4%), Taplejung (4.6%), Parbat (3.7%), Rasuwa (3.1%), Tehrathum (2.9%), Ilam (2.9%), Kathmandu (2.6%), Nawalparasi (2.4%) and Rupandehi (2.0%). [4]


Priestly practitioners of the Gurung Dharma include Bon Lam (Lama), Ghyabri (Ghyabring) and Pachyu (Paju). [5] Shamanistic elements among the Gurungs remain strong and most Gurungs often embrace Buddhist and Bön rituals in communal activities. [6] [7]

See also

Anuradha Koirala in Maiti Nepal - a non-profit organization in Nepal Anuradha.jpg
Anuradha Koirala in Maiti Nepal – a non-profit organization in Nepal
Nepali American Fashion Designer Prabal Gurung at Copenhagen Fashion Week in 2017 Prabal Gurung at Global Fashion Agenda.jpg
Nepali American Fashion Designer Prabal Gurung at Copenhagen Fashion Week in 2017
Nepali Actress Jassita Gurung Gurung celebrating Holi festival at Kathmandu in 2019. Jassita Gurung.jpg
Nepali Actress Jassita Gurung Gurung celebrating Holi festival at Kathmandu in 2019.

Gurung is a surname among people of the Gurung Tamu ethnic group in Nepal. Notable individuals with the surname include:

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  1. Ragsdale, T.A. (1990). "Gurungs, Goorkhalis, Gurkhas: speculations on a Nepalese ethno-history" (PDF). Contributions to Nepalese Studies. 17 (1): 1–24.
  2. Central Bureau of Statistics (2012). National Population and Housing Census 2011 (PDF). Kathmandu: Government of Nepal.
  3. "Indigenous Peoples -Gurung". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  4. 2011 Nepal Census, Social Characteristics Tables
  5. von Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph (1985). Tribal populations and cultures of the Christianity from Thai. Vol. 2. Brill Publishers. pp. 137–8. ISBN   90-04-07120-2 . Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  6. Robert Gordon Latham (1859). Descriptive Ethnology. Vol. I. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row. pp. 80–82.
  7. Mumford, Stanley Royal (1989). Himalayan Dialogue: Tibetan Lamas and Gurung Shamans in Nepal. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 30–32. ISBN   0-299-11984-X.

Further reading