Majhi Caste : Another Indigenous Inhabitant of Nepal


The Majhi caste is one of the 59 indigenous tribes listed by the Government of Nepal. They live on the banks of rivers and streams, fishing, boating, making chillies, and make a living by farming. The people are an indigenous tribe of Nepal with its own language, religion, culture and traditions. This species mainly inhabits the tributaries of the Saptakoshi, the hinterland of the central and eastern regions, and the Madhes.

Majhi Caste 
Majhi Caste

Recently, Sahani, Godi, Malaha, Tharu, Dushad, Halkhor, Dum, Hadi, Musahar, Bote of Bhitrimadhesh, some Khas Chhetri of Western Nepal, Rayamajhi, etc. have also written Majhi. The Majhi caste belongs to the most marginalized group. According to the 2058 census, the total population of fishermen is 72,614. Of these, 36,367 were males and 36,247 were females. According to the 2068 BS census, the total population of them  is 83,727.

Language of Majhi Caste

The language spoken by them is called ‘Majhi Kuro’ by the Majhi caste but the caste other than this caste calls it Majhi language The Majhi language belongs to the Bharopeli language family. Speakers of Majhi Kuro are especially in Tamakoshi, Sunkoshi and Dudhkoshi forts. There are some regional dialects of the Majhi language. There are some differences in each district and village. For example, the Nepali word ‘khanu’ is called ‘kha’, ‘khai’ in Tamakoshi and ‘khara’ in Sunkoshi and Dudhkoshi. Study research is yet to be done on which of these is the main language.

Nepali Community
Majhi Caste

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Although there should be uniformity in the language of Dudhkoshi and Tamakoshi on the basis of distance, there is uniformity in the fisherman speaking in Dudhkoshi and Sunkoshi areas. Apart from these three areas, there are few other speakers of Majhi Kuro.

Number of language speakers

The speakers of Majhi Kuro are in three main areas. Tamakoshi is the highest, followed by Sunkoshi and Dudhkoshi. Only a handful of fishermen living in areas other than those three speak. According to various studies, fisherman speaks in 25 different ways. According to the 2058 census, there were 21,841 speakers of Majhi Kuro. Of these, 11,014 were women and 10,827 were men. According to the 2068 census, there are 24,422 speakers of Majhi Kuro.

Majhi Caste 
Majhi Caste

The Majhi language is on the verge of extinction due to the encroachment of other languages. No initiative has been taken by any body except the National Foundation for Upliftment of Indigenous Tribes for its protection. This language is limited to spoken. Apart from Nepal, the speakers of Majhi Kuro are also in India and Bhutan.

 

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