(Last Updated on : 18/01/2018)
Bhotia Tribe is one of the predominating tribes of Uttarakhand
. They reside in the Almora
, Pithoragarh and Uttarkashi districts
. They are a hardy race, genial, cheerful and hospitable. They are perhaps the best climbers in the country and reach high altitudes with little difficulty. Whenever the Bhotias ascend steep mountains
, they add a stone in thanksgiving to a heap (kithburiyas) which is already there.
Origin of Bhotia Tribe
The term Bhotia has come from the word Bhot, the traditional name for people of Tibetan origin. The Bhotias have Mongoloid features and are known as Pahari or hill people. They commonly converse in Hindi
, Nepali, Kumaoni and Garhwali.
Society of Bhotia Tribe
The Bhotia community
is primarily nomadic. The societal norms are relaxed too. But the best feature of this community is that both men and women are given equal footing in the social strata.
The six categories of this tribe
are: Rang, Johari, Tolcha, Marcha and Jad. Rang and Johari Bhotias belong to Pithoragarh district
. Tolcha and Marcha belong to the Chamoli district. Jad Bhotia is mainly found in Uttarkashi district
Occupation of Bhotia Tribe
has been the foundation of the Bhotia economy. They indulged in the Trans-Himalayan trade. They are dependent on share cropping. The Bhotias are an occupational caste
of shepherds. Earlier the woollen industry was also a source of economy as they received enough raw wool from Tibet. The women
of this tribe are good weavers of carpet
, blankets and woollen clothes.
Religion of Bhotia Tribe
They differ in religion
, physiognomy and customs
both from the Tibetans and the Hindu
s. The Nanda Devi
, Pancha Chuli
are worshipped by them. There is a temple
dedicated to the Goddess Nanda in Martoli where an annual fair
is held in September.
The most popular of their deities is perhaps Gabla, the weather God who, on entreaty, dispels both rain and snow and brings fine weather. The shepherd Gods Runiya and Sain protect and cure their animals
from disease. They make a constant effort to exclude malevolent spirits
Culture of Bhotia Tribe
The Bhotias have a rich oral tradition of folk songs, dances
and tales that they often share with other communities. Chhura is a popular dance which portrays an experienced older man teaching a young shepherd the secrets of his trade. Both men and women participate in this dance.