Maiya Devi Kumal - Social Inclusion Research fund

Social Culture and Economic Life of the Kumals: A Study of the Coping
Strategies of the Kumals in the Changing Context of Sandikarka VDC of
Argakhanchi District
Final Report
Submitted by:
Maiya Devi Kumal
Social Inclusion Research Fund Secretariat SNV, Nepal
Bakhundole, Lalitpur, Nepal
Mathias Moyersoen Research Fund Apprenticeships 2009
(Code No. SIRF/MMRA/09)
1.1 Introduction of the Study
Kumal is one of the 59 Indigenous Peoples officially identified & legally
recognized by the government of Nepal. According to the national Census report of
2001, their total population is 99,389. The total population of Kumals throughout the
whole country is 0.44percentage (CBS, 2001). Out of total population of our country,
the population of indigenous nationalities is 37.19 percentages. Out of indigenous
nationalities, the population of Kumal is 1.17 percentages. They are distributed in
Ilam, Jhapa, Sankhuwasabha, Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha, Lamjung, Tanahun, Kaski,
Parbat, Baglung, Syanja, Arghakhanchi, Pyuthan, Gulmi, Dang, Nawalparasi Chitwan
, Banke,and so on. But their main Settlements are concentrated in Inner terai, in the
bank of the rivers & in Beshi & taar of hilly region of Nepal .Socio-economically,
they are classified as marginalized Communities.
Physically, Kumals are of brown complexioned, medium height and
mongoloid appearance, and mentally, they are honest and straightforward. Kumals
worship nature, Kuldewata, Aitabare Pooja and so on and it is different according to
value/place. Kumals need pigs to sacrifice to Kul Pooja. In other places, Kumals
sacrifice cocks, goats etc. in their Kul pooja. Kumals celebrate different festivals like
Dashain, Tihar, Maghe Sankranti and others. It is the necessity that what is the main
festival of Kumal is the subject of discovery. They use jand, raksi, pork and so on in
the festivals. They dance in the festival. Kumal's main dance is 'pandure'. It is called
the 'Kumal nach'. Similarly, Kumals have "khyali nach, 'jhyaure nach' and others.
In the present time pottery making of Kumal is in the verge of extinction. The
reasons of extinction are as follows: lack of raw materials like clay, firewood, water,
community forest program, open market system and so on because of which plastic
and ceramic utensils are in use. Now Kumals are facing the problem of livelihood
depending on their traditional occupation. Because of the livelihood problem, slowly
and gradually, they are compelled to change their occupation.
This study is focused on Sandhikharka VDC of Arghakhanchi district.
this study which focuses primarily on the interrelationship between
cultural subsistence pattern, land use practices, access of natural resources,
occupational and technological changes as adaptive strategies. In general ecological
and environmental changes are caused and accelerated by several factors such as
developmental practices, state policy, the cultural practices and economic activities of
local people. Cultural ecology directs our attention to the problem of human survival
within the specific environments. Theoretically this study applies the perception that
the intervention of cultural behavior and environment would be most easily examined
in those marginal environments where human labor is still the most important means
of extracting a living from the local ecology. In addition, human beings are not only
influenced by nature but they are also affected by global as well as local Sociopolitical processes, and their own perception and actions. This study also concentrates
in these areas.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nepal is the land of the cultural and ecological diversity. It is famous for its
kaleidoscopic diversity in its ethnic, cultural and geographical area. It is home of
various ethnic caste and social groups. The different geo- climatic regions of Nepal
are inhabited by various ethnic groups which have developed their own cultural
adaptive strategy based on available natural resources with the country's high level of
biological diversity. Resources from the environment and or forest etc have been used
by the local people for various purposes. Their cultural, economic and religious
practices are in one way or other related to the ecological milieu.
Human beings in order to survive must transform nature into means of
survival. To produce this means of survival one should use labor, tools and
technology on natural resources. In order to exploit nature and produce to earn
subsistence people must come into a definite social relationship (family, kinship,
political, social, and economical organizations etc).Thus; adaptation may be viewed
as taking place because of change in technology, socio- cultural organization and
ideology in a particular human society at household level. Adaptive changes usually
take place within limits maintaining distinct human environmental relationship over
time. Kumal is a backward indigenous community. Most of the Kumals are under the
poverty line. They are facing extreme poverty. They are facing the problem of hand to
month for morning and evening. Because of poverty, they could not approach to
education and hence their consciousness level is very low. Due to the low awareness,
they are backward in social, political, economic, and administrative and employment
The language, religion, culture and occupation of Kumals are in the verge of
extinction. According to the scholars, Kumals speaking mother tongue is 6.58%.
Kumal language is about to extinct (Yonjan, 2006). Language is one of the major
identities of indigenous peoples. So, language is a most important component of
indigenous nationalities (Yonjan, 2006).
Change is the law of nature. The nature is never at rest/constant. It is everchanging. Change is ever present in the world. Similarly, society is not at all a static
phenomenon, but it is a dynamic entity. It is an ongoing process. Society is subject to
constant changes. Change is pervasive.
Human being is a creative being. They always try their best to discover new
issues and adopt themselves in different environment. The relation between human
and environment/nature is very close. If the human could not fit themselves with
environment, they would extinct like dinosaurs in history. Thus, the human being tries
their best to make the environment in favor of them.
Adoption is a process of social and cultural change. Whenever, a man tries to
adopt himself in a new society and culture, there occur changes naturally.
In the past, there was not much pressure on land and there was not much
completion on natural resources. There was no competition in extracting resources for
livelihood. Later on, as the population kept on increasing, the resource being constant
created a competition for subsistence activities. So, they started other alternatives
solution and they started to adopt new technology.
In this study, to find out the real causes, some fundamental questionnaires
have been formulated which have been given below:
1. What is the history of origin of Kumals of Sandhikharka?
2. How is the social-cultural and economic condition of Kumals of Sandhikharka?
3. What changes have occurred in the socio-cultural and economic life of Kumals?
4. How are they surviving in the changing environment?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
General Objective
To find out the socio-cultural & economic life of Kumals of Sandhikharka
VDC of Arghakanchi district.
Specific Objectives
To describe the socio-cultural and economic practices of the Kumals of
Sandhikharka VDC.
To present the change that affects the socio-cultural & economic practices of
the Kumals of the study area.
To highlight the adopt/coping strategies of the Kumals of the changing
1.4 Significance of the Study
The importance of this research study is listed below:
It will be an important document for those who want to study more about
It may be an authentic document of Kumals.
It will be an important guide to make programs and policies about Kumals for
NGOs/INGOs and government agencies.
1.5 Limitation of the Study
The limitations of this study are as follows:
In this research study, only the Kumals of Sandhikharka VDC of Arghakanchi
district has been included.
In this research study, focused is given to the socio-cultural and economic
condition of Kumals and their livelihood strategies in the changing context.
Conceptual Framework
Socio-Cultural & Economic Practices
Economic Factors
Education Factors
Environmental Factors
Socio-Cultural &
Economic Change
Technological Factors
Government Factors
NGO/INGO Factors
Review of Literature gives theoretical guidelines to the research. There are
some Literatures related to the Kumals in Nepal but not exactly focus on my research
title. Some of the Literatures related to this study are reviewed here briefly.
2.1 Studies on Kumal
Bhurtel (2000) has highlighted the marriage Ceremony of Kumals as an
elderly Kumals also point out that some of the traditional Practices related to the
marriage Ceremony have been replaced by non- kumal Customs. Kumals too have
started to adopt the Practices of janai-supari, an engagement Ceremony Common
among Bahun-Chhetris. There are examples of how the new generation of kumals are
becoming “Sanskritized” and giving up their own traditional cultural Practices.
Kattel (2000) in his Study, finds that Kumals being marginalized from their
traditional occupation and from their land. Other factors have also indirectly and
directly affected Kumals very negatively. These affecting factors which are related to
non- Kumals and government policies.
Bhusal (2061) has studied that the traditional dresses of Kumal People are
waiste coat, Bhoto, Kachhad and cap for men and Guneu- cholo majetro and patuka
for women. Kumal women’s traditional ornaments are “Harimala" (necklace made of
silver coins) and Thimura (necklace made of silver & stone) on their neck, silver
bangles in their hand, big flat gold ring on their ears and big nose pin made up of gold
on their nose .Now-a –days, they wear sari, blouse, small tops on their ears, small
nose pin on their nose and wear glass bead on their neck. They told that modern dress
& ornament are comfortable to wear, attractive in looks & less costly. The traditional
silver & gold ornaments are heavy & expensive. Only old women of this village have
their traditional ornaments. Most of them sold their traditional ornaments for money.
Sharma (1998) in his study, the Kumals are rich in terms their cultural
tradition .But now, due to contact of the group & influence of modernization their
culture is gradually vanishing.
Dhakal (1997) has picturized that the existence of the Kumals cannot be
imagined without these resources. The relationship between the Kumals & the
biological resources has been the continual process since the time of inception. The
Kumals use 62 animal & 264 plant species altogether. The ethno biology of the
Kumals is very rich.
Maskey (2001) has viewed that, Economic status of Kumal is pulling down
due to lack of ideas and techniques to compete with the clever immigrants in changing
modern environment. The cultural entities like language, rituals, festivals etc are their
assets losing without gaining suitable ones to adopt the changing environments.
K.C. (1995) in his study, the Kumals Hympai dance is performed on the
purnima night. They decorate the doko (bamboo basket) with gunhu (female dress),
cholo, patuka (cloth tied round the girdle), hamel (necklace made of silver), etc. & the
doko is put over the head of man and dance is begun. This Hyampai dance is
performed due to their remembrance of death kins. Because he /she may not reach to
heaven or there maybe obstacle on the way .If they perform Hympai dance, the way
of heaven may open in their belief. They sing a song in their own language. Each and
every socio –cultural aspect of human society is dynamic in nature. Hence, the song &
dances of the Kumals are also not static. In this study area they do not have song in
their own language. They have forgotten their language on their daily life. Previously,
the Hympai dance used to be performed twice or thrice a year but now- a- days this
dance is performed only once and new generation doesn’t like to dance.”Now, we are
dandamathi ko gham (we are new passing generation) .We have to preserve our
ancestral culture”. This dance is going to vanish from their community.
According to him, in his study Dhikur appears as the adaptive system of
Kumals. Unlike the other neighboring communities, they have also practiced dhikur
but not in cash, because they collect grain like millet once a year. They collect five
pathis millet during harvesting season & follow golapola (lottery) for the turn. Major
populations of the study area’s Kumals have nominal land holding patterns. So, they
have food deficit every year. To get rid of this problem, they have managed from
dhikur association. Dhikur association is the saving system of their society. They do
have problem to collect five paths millet during harvesting season. Those who do not
have sufficient land are seen to have participated in dhikur . The person who gets
chance to collect millet in golapola, he stores it and a small part of it is distributed as a
chaupanja ( he gives four pathis of millet for a
year but in returning time the
borrower should be given five pathis millet ) in the months of Baisakh & Jestha which
are called anikal ko mahina ( hunger). This system goes round the year.
Kumal (2010) has expressed that, one of the event that happened in the kumal
community has been presented here which shows the extreme exploitation of kumal
community which is as follows; one of the kumal took ten kilograms wheat in the
time of his father in credit. In the time of son, in a ceremony in the village (pooja), the
owner called the son to sign in a paper who was uneducated. He signed on the paper
that he did not know that what was written on the paper. Later on, the owner said that
he had to pay Rs. 50,000/- which was taken by his father. In response, he said that he
had never taken any credit from him. Then, the owner registered the case
in the
court. According to the decision of the court that very uneducated kumal paid Rs.
50,000/- to the owner by selling his own land. This is one of the real events that had
happened in the study area. From the historical time, kumals are being exploited,
cheated dominated by advanced castes. Kumals being voiceless, such events couldnot
be exposed. However, such many more events have happened in the kumal
community in the study area.
Bista (1967/2004) living close to them along the river valleys are people called
Barhamu and Kumhale, farmers and pottery respectively. These Barhamu and
kumhale number are very few. They appear more mongoloid than Danuwar, Darai
and majhi and speak a distinct Tibeto –Burman tongue.
Kumal (2057) in his report “ Kumal vasha Adhyan pratibedan and preparation
of primary level curriculum,” has defined this community according to the traditional
profession of pottery making, fishing and little bit in agriculture. This community has
likely near to the relationship with Majhi, Bote, and Darai in Hill area and Tharu and
Danuwar in Terai area. Around in 70 districts of Nepal, this community has been
living under the poverty line (lack of education, health facility, food sufficiency etc).
This community has been found in palpa, Arghakhanchi, Nawalparasi, Tahahun,
Gulmi, Gorkha, Lamjung and Dhading districts.
2.2 Studies in Nepal
Haimendorf (1964) is considered to be the first foreign anthropologist to study
the Himalayan people of Nepal. His book The Sherpas of Nepal established an
ethnographic tradition in Nepal. He has studied the Sherpa of Khumbu region in
Solukhumbu district. They have adopted agriculture trade (tourism) as well as animal
husbandry for their subsistence.
Pignede (1993) in his study, he has described the origin of Gurungs. The
Gurungs are agriculturists supplemented by animal husbandry & Indian Army for
their livelihood.
Caplan (1970) has expressed that, the historical context of land holding pattern
of Limbus and change in it from conflict perspective along with the changed
government, land reform policy. He also includes other socio- cultural changes
occurring in them especially the acceptance of Hindu norms & values the
Hinduization process.
Chhetri (1990) has picturized that, the change occurred in new migrant
Thakalis after migration from rural area of Thakkhola to urban area of Pokhara town.
The changes were occurred along with the process of adaptation in which Hindu
social norms, values & customs were followed by Thakalis from the host society of
Pokhara valley.
Iijima (1963) has described that, the existence of Sankritization process in
Thakalis taking the case of local power holding with leadership position and social
change pattern in them along with the ongoing changes in economy & ecology. The
Thakalis have brought changes in language by adopting Nepali language.
Macfalrlane ( 1976) has studies Gurungs of Nepal. His basic theme was
ecology the study of relationship between man and his resources in a particular
setting. The permanent settlement and proliferation of hither to nomadic tribe has
altered the whole balance of the natural resources in the area. He has surveyed
Gurung economy, the long- term changes, which have occurred, and the present
stocks of land and other resources. The production consumption patterns of
Himalayan society have been analyzed in great detail. He has attempted to examine
why Gurungs have somewhat different demographic features from the lowland
population of Nepal. He has basically examined historical, demographic, cultural,
ecological, and socio-economic and fertility change.
Poffenberger (1980) has studies the relationship between demographic and
ecological elements, which exert pressure on socio- cultural system of Nepal. In his
study author was concerned with establishing how certain demographic, ecological
and social change process are interaction throughout the hill of Nepal. He was more
interested in analyzing relationship between processes rather than the elemental
process themselves. According to him the interaction of demographic, ecological and
social variable produce certain tension within the social system.
2.3 Coping/Adaptation
Adaptation word is used by biologists in two different senses both of which
imply the accommodation of a living organism to its environment. One form of a
adaptation called physiological adaptation involves the acclimatization of an
individual organism to a sudden change in environment. In other words, adaptation is
the extent to which an organism or a physiological or the structural characteristic of
an organism is suited to a particular environment (Pradhan, 2006).
Human adaptation with their immediate environmental conditions has been
focused in studies by many scholars. Human ecologists are convinced that adaptive
system differs according to the natural conditions and availability & needs of
resources. The systems of subsistence ownership of resources and management
patterns are also different as well.
There are several different theoretical approaches to understand man
environment interactions. Darwin’s theory on ‘evolution of organism’ and Ernest
Haeckel's ideas on ecological system are the important contributions in the
development of ecological studies in anthropology. It was only with the development
of geography & anthropology as scientific disciplines in the latter part of the
nineteenth century that human ecology became the subject of systematic study
(Rambo 1983).
In order to survive, people must adapt successfully to their physical
environment, adjusting its feature and using its resources to meet their needs. All
animal species face this task, of course but non-meet quite the same way people do,
since people adapt culturally. They use knowledge that they have learned to define the
important features of their environment to built countless artifacts to help them adapt,
and to prescribe the procedures necessary to use these things & to evaluate their place
in the world (Mccurdy and Spradly, 1980).
Rappaport (1968) states that, a cybernetic homeostasis in the face of short
term environmental fluctuations and long term permanent changes. In other words,
when the environmental fluctuation occurs, it also starts to create permanent change
in long period of time.
Anderson (1973) has described that, there are many definitive characteristics
of the cultural ecological approach. Among them ‘adaptation’ is the major process of
cultural change.
The key concepts for the study of individual, social adaptation are adaptive
behavior and strategic action and the synthesis of the two adaptive strategies. The
distinction between the first two is a matter of level of generality “adaptive behavior”
is the more general term, since it refers to any form of behavior that adjusts means to
ends, accomplishes, objectives, achieves satisfaction, exercises choice, or avoids or
refuses action or involvement in order to "adapt" or " adjust" .In other words both
active and passive aspects of purposive behavior of humans in systems. The third
term, adaptive strategy is perhaps best defined as a component of strategic action;
specific acts with a predictable degree of success which are selected by the individual
in a decision-making process (Bennett, 1969).
The significance of adaptive strategies for ecological concerns lies in the large
quotient of ‘fortuitous’ strategic actions that foster the dynamic quality quotient of
‘fortuitous’ strategic actions that foster the dynamic quality of social life and the
expanding of changing impact on the environment . Political scientist peter corning
has pointed out how the fortuitous capacity of human adaptive behavior lies at the
basis of the applicability of “group selection” as a process in general human evolution
(Corning, 1974).
The cultural ecological model of Steward was also applied by Harris (1974) in
a modified from as a techno- environmental determinism or cultural materialism.
Cultural materialism shared with ecological anthropology an interest in the adapted
function of cultural phenomena. The fundamental weakness of the concept of cultural
ecology is revealed in the work of Harris. His assumption was that technological
means of adaptations to the environment is the prime mover of culture and is
determined by the relationship between technologies. He accepted the view that
Hindus keep excessive numbers of useless cattle because of their religious belief that
cattle are scarce, these cows are actually important to the economic welfare of the
poor Indian peasants.
Steward expressed cultural ecology, the ecological vantage point in
anthropology as early as the 1930s. From cultural ecological point of view, culture
and environment are interdependent and have dynamic relationship in which both
culture and environment adapt and readapt as each change in response to other's
influences (Hardesty 1977). In order to explain the relationship between culture and
environment, Steward (1953) defined cultural ecology as "the process of adaptation
by which the nature of society and an unpredictable number of features of culture are
affected by the basic adjustment through which man utilizes a given
environment"(Steward 1986).
3.1 The Study Area and Reason for Selection
Arghakhanchi district is situated in Western Development Region. There are
forty two village development committees. The total population of this district is 2,
08,391 and total households are 40,869 (CBS, 2001). The total population of Kumals
in this district is 5081 in which males are 2418 and females are 1663. Sandhikharka
VDC is the headquareter of Arghakanchi. In this village development committee,
Brahmin, Chhetri, Damai, Kami, Newar, Magar, Kumals etc. live. This VDC is the
oldest place of Kumals. In this research study, the reasons of selection of Kumals are
as follows:
1) Sandhikharka VDC being the highly dense area of Kumals in Arghakhanchi
2) Having lived in headquarter, Kumals are very much included from political,
economic, education, administrative, employment and so on opportunities.
3) The Traditional occupation, culture, language, religion and so on of Kumals of
this area are in the verge of extinction.
4) Sandhikharka being the ancient dwelling place of Kumals, no research has
been done about Kumals till now.
5) Though researcher myself being the Kumals, I have known little about this
area and the community but not introduced.
3.2 Research Design
In this research study, both exploratory and descriptive research designs have
been applied. The descriptive research design has guided in describing and analyzing
the data collected from the field work. So far as exploratory research design is
concerned, it has guided to discover the life history, culture and the strategies of
livelihood of Kumals in the changing environmental context.
3.3 Nature and Sources of Data
In the time of research study, both qualitative and quantitative data have been
collected and analyzed. In qualitative data, the language, culture, worshipping
practices of Kumals themselves have been presented in their own words as it is. So far
as quantitative data is concerned, the populations of male and female, age, sex,
marriage, education and so on have been presented by means of table, pie-chart, chart
and graph.
In this research study, both primary and secondary data have been selected as
source. All the data collected by researcher from the field work have been the primary
data of this research study. So far as secondary data is concerned, they have been
collected from sources like journals, books, articles, VDC/DDC profiles, government
reports, and research reports, published and unpublished literatures and so on.
3.4 Universe and Sampling
The total population of Kumal community of Sandhikharka VDC was the
universe of this research study. There are 201 households of Kumals in this VDC.
Then the name list of the head of the family member has been collected. After that,
only having add numbers like 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 ……..200 have been selected. By this,
101 households out of 201 i.e. 50% of the total households have been selected as
3.5 Data Collection Techniques
Various techniques of collecting data have been applied in this research study.
3.5.1 Household Survey
As usual, researcher myself have gone to the sampled households and then I
have filled up the survey questionnaire asking the questions to the available member
of that household. From this, socio-economic and demographic data have been
3.5.2 Observation
By this technique, life style, dress pattern, ornament, language, status of
traditional occupations, households' pattern, food preparation, goods consumption,
domestic production, agricultural practices and so on of Kumals have been observed.
3.5.3 Key Informant Interview
In this technique, Kumals have been selected as key informant, those who
know well about Kumals. From this, traditional institution, traditional knowledge,
customary laws, rules and regulations, social status, relation with other communities,
rituals and rites, main festivals, worshipping practices and religious works, dress
pattern, ornaments, language, origin or history, market access, forest access, land
access, agricultural practices, surnames and so on of Kumal community have been
known and about with the information's have been collected.
3.5.4 Focus Group Discussion
In this FGD, various groups like women group, youngest group, oldest mostly
Kumals over 60 years of age got participated. From FGD, especially, what is the
reason of exclusion of language, ancestral occupation, and culture? What has been
done to preserve it? How the word Kumal has been originated? Where from the
Kumal had arrived in Sandhikharka and when? Why they are backward or excluded
from politics, economic, education, administrative, employment and so on that being
the inhabitants of headquarter of the districts? What has be done to uplift the Kumals?
What is the difference between the life of past and present and either easier or more
difficult? How they have taken the modern development-positively or negatively?
What are their livelihood strategies in the context of changing environment? How
Kumals are getting the socio-cultural and economical change? etc. have been
discussed and it has best been tried to find out the answers of above mentioned
3.5.5 Case Study
Certain event related to origin, biography, story, history and so on which
closely related to the objectives of this study have been collected as case study in this
study. Such events were like story of poverty, causes of leaving the language, story
based on changing of ancestral occupation, story of changing of surnames and so on.
4.1 Location
Arghakhanchi district is situated is the Lumbini zone of the Western
Development region. The area of this district is 11932 km. The total households are
40,866 in this district. 2, 08,292 is the total population in this district in which male
number is 96,263 and female number is 1, 12,018.The male literacy rate of this
district is 74 percentage and female literacy rate is 52 percentage. Economically
active population of this district (above 10 years) is 92574. The population of widow
and widower is 2695 and handicapped people are 697 in the district. The pipe water
using households are 27141 and toiletless households are 21844. Similarly, there are
424 high schools, of higher secondary schools and 1 campus in the district. Likewise,
there are 42 health posts and one district hospital in this district. There is road facility
in each and every VDC's in this district. There are two electoral regions in this
district. There are 42 VDCs in this district out of which sandhikharka is one.
Sandhikharka VDC is the district headquater of Arghakhanchi district. In the
eastern part of this VDC is Wangla VDC, in west Kimdanda and Nuwakot VDCs, in
north, Argha and Divarna VDCs and in south Khnchikot is situated (see map).
Sandhikharka is 68 km far from Gorusinge, Mahendra highway (see map1).
4.2 Climate
The climates of the study are is sub- tropical with an altitude ranges from 945
to 1105mt.above Sea level. Maximum temperature rises to 36o and minimum
temperature decreases to 120 Celsius in the summer and winter respectively. The
maximum annual rain fall of the study area is 1800mm.and the relative humidity is 80
percent in average.
4.3 Natural Resources
The study area is poor in natural resources like forest, stream and mines.
About 307.68 ropanies of forest area is handed over to the community, which is
considered as the community forests, i.e. the property of the local community. Above
area includes nine community forests and total 677 houses are taking direct benefit.
4.3.1 Forest
Forest is the main source of fuel, fodder and wood for construction material
for which the VDC has only 307.68 ropanies of forest. Most of the area has been
afforested the 90 plants in the forest are immature. In market settlement some people
are also depending in forest for the purpose of cooking fuel.
4.3.2 Land
In the study area land is exploited and utilized as natural resource. Most of the
land is cultivated as the agriculture is important means for the subsistence of the
people of Sandhikharka because it has the lack of irrigation facility.
4.3.3 Water
Bangikhola, Bhadrikhola and Khonchakhola are the main source of water in
this VDC which irrigate the land in summer and in the winter also in some extent.
These water sources seem to be seasonal only because they become dry in the summer
season of April and May.
Study Area
Location Map of Study Area
4.4 Population Composition
The total population of this VDC is 8921 and the households are 1873,
(District and VDC profile -2060). The people of various castes and ethinicity live in
this sandhikharka VDC like Brahmin, Chhetri, Newar, Magar, Dalit, Gharti, Kumal,
Gurung, Hajam, Muslim, Thakuri, Teli, Sunuwar, Majhi, etc. Kumal is the indigenous
community of this region. Before 2032(B.S.) “no people were found in this region
except kumals” Says Bheg Bahadur kumal (82), a key informant. In the present time,
many more migrated people are found like Brahmin, chhetri and others which are in
majority. The detail has been presented in the table no. 1 below:
Table No.1
Ethnic /Caste Composition of Sandhikharka
Unidentified Dalit
Unidentified Caste
The total population of this area on the basis of age- group has been shown in
the table below:
Table No.2
Population Composition by Age-group
Age- group
60 above
Source: VDC profile 2060(2003)
4.5 Economic Status
The total households are 1873 is this Village Development Committee. The
people of this VDC's are involved in different economic activities. The economic
activities have been divided into two part like agro-farming economic activities and
agro-farming economic activities which is shown in the table no. 3 and 4
Table No. 3
Agro-Farming Distribution of Sandhikharka VDC
Agricultural land only
Agricultural land and animal holding
Agricultural land and poultry farm
Agricultural land and birds palan
Animals holding only
Poultry farm only
Birds only
Source: VDC profile, 2060
Note: 5,6,7,8 are the landless households
Table No.4
Non-agro-Farming Distribution of Sandhikharka VDC
Source : VDC profile, 2060
4.6 Education
Over 6 years population is 7706 in this VDC in which male is 3842 and
female is 3864. The educational status of this region has been shown in the table no.5
Table No.5
The Literacy Rate above Six
Source: VDC profile, 2060
Note: Those who can read and write, and read only have been counted as literate.
4.7 Socio- Cultural features
Although wheat and maize are used equally for food, rice is the main staple
food of the study area. Kumal people use maize and wheat to make liquor (raksi) and
Jand (local bear) as it is socially accepted because they are considered an Adibashi
Janajati. Juwain (Son in law) and Bhanja( Nephew) are extremely important among
Kumal people to perform all the rites, rituals and ceremonies from birth till death. But
now in some extent, Kumal people are consulting Brahmin Priest (poojari) to perform
marriage and some other poojas. When the member of a family dies, the Kumal
people observe fifteen days mourning period (kriya) following the funeral of a
deceased relative during which blood relatives abstain from eating salt and meat and
observe other austeres such as eating only one meal a day and bathing with cold water
every morning. But the young generation at present observes death pollution during
thirteen days. Menstruation period was not considered as pollution.
Kumal people organize many poojas for the welfare of human beings, cattle
and for good harvest. The prevailing poojas within the study area are Kullayan pooja,
Bayu pooja, Bhanger pooja, Jhankri pooja and so on. Desantari pooja is another
important pooja among Kumal people. When there is no rainfall for a long period of
time, the Kumal people think that the Desantari Devata are angry because of undue
performance of them and they organize Desantari pooja to please almighty. Kumal
people believe that if they worship Bhanger, all the diseases of human beings and
cattle will be eradicated. Dikure, laure,
Jhamre and Pandure are the dances of
Kumals, But only Jhamre dance is performed in the study area.
5.1 Origin and History of Kumal People
The history of the origin of the Kumal people is not so much clear as it is
supposed to be. The Kumals are indigenous nationalities of Nepal. From very ancient
time, they settled down near the bank of river through Mechi to Mahakali and from
the Tumlingtar in north to Chitwan and Kanchanpur in South. Due to the lack of
studies on Kumals, it can be controversial to say anything about their origin.
However, the study was carried out on the basis of interviews with Key informants
and elder people of the Kumals.
Kumals may be generally classified in two different groups, the purbiya (those
who live in eastern region of Nepal) probably come from Baishali of India and the
Paschime (those who live in the western region of Nepal) probably came from Kumau
Gadhwal of India. After the Muslim invasion in north and east India, different caste
groups of people penetrated into Nepal. Among them, Kumals entered and settled
down in Nepal. These Kumal people are not classified under four varnas under the
Hindu caste system but they are classified under thirty- six castes with matwali strata.
Though Kumals are supposed to be the Tibeto- Burman, it is said they are the Indo Aryan physically resemblance with Tharu, Darai, Bote, Danuwar people. The Kumal
inhabits in Terai, Inner Terai and lower elevation of hilly area close to the river valley
faced various problem in such as malaria along with hot climate.
The origin of Kumal word came from Sanskrit language. It is said
'Kumbhakar' was changed to Kumhar and then Kumal. But Kumal should not be
mistaken for the Kumals or Kumaley (Gautam et al, 1994).
(Gautam et al, 1994) says people who inhabit Nepalese Terai, Inner Terai and
many hill area make earthenware pots and sell them to the surrounding villages are
known as 'Kumal'.
5.2 Settlement Patterns
Cultural environmental identities are distinctly reflected through the pattern,
type and forms of settlement. The ecological setting, availability of construction
materials, the nature of land, type of rainfall and temperature also play deciding role
for the housing and settlement pattern.
Mainly at the time of field work, clustered and scattered, two types of
settlements were found in this area. In the plain area, clustered settlement was found
where as in slope area scattered settlement was found and this very scattered
settlement is the new one after the establishment of district headquarter in 2032 B.S.
because kumals were displaced from plain area to the slope area and hence the
scattered settlement is new.
Kumals live together in closely clustered settlement. As a matter of fact these
people fall in minority category and they do not want to remain separated away from
their own community (Bhatta, 1999). However, in this area clustered settlement of
kumals is being changed into the scattered settlement day by day. Kumals, in this area
are still selling their land due to which in the plain area the other migrated people are
in majority.
Most of the kumals houses are of two storied in this area. They are built up of
soil and stone and hence are kachchi houses. The lower tala /ground tala is used as
kitchen and the upper tala is used for storing food and sleeping. Now a days, the
kitchen is made separately near by the homes. To stay outside, the paali is joined to
the houses and in front of the houses; the wide and open courtyard has been made.
Most of the houses have zink roof and some houses have stone and dry grass roofs.
The kumal houses have been colored with red and white soil and some of the houses
have been cemented in this area. But no modern houses have been found in the kumal
settlement at the time of field work.
5.3 Family
Family is one of the most important and universal social organization .It is
found in every society. It fulfills emotional and physical needs of its members. It is
biological units composed of the group of persons and kins who are related through
blood and marriage. It usually begins when people marry because marriage is the
basic structure of the family. Theoretically, researcher found two types of family
system within the kumal community, nuclear and joint families. Researcher found in
research area that there are great numbers of kumal people are bound within their
nuclear family. Nuclear family consists of husband and wife and their unmarried
children. But joint family consists of married brothers with their unmarried children.
Kumals, previously, used to live in joint family. But now change has occurred
in such structure. While living in the joint family, if a brother is absent, his family
should be looked after by others. In such situation economic burden would be more
expensive due to which there would be clash in the family. So, now after marriage,
they separate from the joint family and settle their own nuclear family. This lessens
the family clash and over economic burden in the family. In the kumal community,
joint family structure has been, slowly and gradually decreasing which has been
presented in the table below:
The following table shows the family system of kumal people in the study
Table No.6
Percentage Distribution of Family Types
Type of family
No. of family
Source: Field Survey, 2010
In the table given above, the nuclear family system is higher than the joint
family system in the kumal community.
5.4 Thar (surname) and Gotras
Various thar (surname) have been found in the kumal community. Most of the
surnames are related to the place where kumals are living. Sharma (2043) has
mentioned about the various surmanes of kumals like Sakhe, Palpali, Chapakote,
Gorsore, Pacenje, Parbate, Baskhore, Pyuthani, Gorkhali, Bajhkote, Athami.....
Mukhiya, Rajput,Lahure khatri, Rana, Doteli etc.
In this study area, only Mukhiya is the surname of kumals. Among them, after
father's name, kumal has been written but after the name of son and daughter,
Mukhiya has been written. According to the key informant Mr. Aaita Bahadur kumal,
previously, there was 'Mukhiya' Pratha' among kumal community. This ' Pratha' used
to manage the kumal community on the basis of social, economic, political, and legal
system. 'Mukhiya' was the great person to rule the kumal community. But now a days
this ' Mukhiya Pratha' has been abolished and hence new generation started to use
mukhiya as their surmane/thar insted of kumal.
Kumals have different gotras like Mahamunna kashi gotra, Haledi, Sankhe,
Dhale, Ramjali kausila and Dhandra gotra. However, in this study area kumals have
only Ramjali kausila and Dhanra, two types of gotras have been found.
5.5 Rites of Passages
Rite of passage means the rites and rituals practiced by the people from their
birth till their death. Every community or caste/ ethnic groups despite their religion or
geographical location has their own unique rites of passages which are distinct from
their neighbor or other caste/ ethnic groups. Although the stages like birth, marriage,
death are common and similar the ways of celebrating such rites and rituals differ
from one group to another. The description of rites de passage presented here is
strictly based on the information gathered during my field visit of study area.
These rites of passages have been prepared on the basis of the saying of Dev
kala kumal (64) who is permanent inhabitant of Sandhikharka which is presented
5.5.1 Birth
In kumal community, the pregnant women who is about to give birth to the
child, is given to drink hot soup like jawanoko soup, masalako soup and the mustard
oil is applied to the concerned part of the body of pregnant kumal woman. It is
believed that by those activities, the pregnant woman quickly gives birth to the child
and hence the pain also will be decreased. After the birth of child, the sundeni cuts the
saal- naal of baby with the household weapons like hansiya and blade. Sometimes,
sutkeri herself cuts the saal-naal of the baby. In this community, sundeni is from their
own community. After this, the saal is put inside the earthen pot and hung on the
branch of milk giving trees like siudi, kutmero and others. It is believed that if the saal
is hung in the branches of milk giving tree, infant gets plenty of milk. The saal is not
buried under the ground as in the other non- kumals people. They believe that if the
saal is touched by any animals, something bad will happen in the family. So, they
hung the saal-naal.
After that the child is cleaned and washed and the mustard oil is applied to the
baby infant and their mother. At this time the meat having soup of local chickens and
other hot soup are given to the mother to drink. It saves both the mother and infant
from the cold.
In the study area, if the daughter is born, the hen chicken is cut where as if the
son is born the cock chicken is cut in the kumal community. Similarly, it is believed
that if the mother is fed the meat of local chicken and he goat, the plenty of milk
would be produced for the infant. Moreover, it is also believed that if the chhyang is
fed to the mother, the infant would get plenty of milk and the husband of pregnant
women should not kill any animals and birds during the pregnant period.
5.5.2 Chhainti
In the sixth day of the birth of the infant child, the relatives and neighbors are
invited to the house and celebrate the whole night performing various dances, songs
and especially paundure dances. They are provided various types of foods and drinks
like biten rice, meat, vegetables, alcohal, chhyang and others. Similarly, throughout
the night the lamp is lit which should not be let off which is put on the plate having
one mana of rice.In this night no one sleeps till the next morning. Sometimes, the doro
is tied to the infant in 3rd and 5th day of his/her birth. Those who do this, they do not
celebrate the 6th day of the infant. It is believed that on the sixth day, the God writes
the fate of the infant for this on the pillow of infant the pen and copy are put and lamp
is lit. So, the sixth day is very much important in the kumal community.
5.5.3 Nwaran/ (Baptism)/ Naming Process
Nwaran in kumal community is called the system of purifying kuna. In this
community, nwaran is performed in 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th day. Now a days, kumals
following the Brahmin culture, they purify on the 11th day. The mother takes bath on
the 11th day and becomes purified by spreading the gold- water. But the infant gets
bath with the help of phupu didi and from this day, the infant puts on the bhoto. In
kumal community, in the naming process, no Brahmin is called no ... is performed
like in the Brahmin culture (poudel, 2043). In kumal community mane is given to the
infant by phupu didi or Bhanja or Jwain and they tied the yellow colored thread to the
baby at this time the father asked the name of the infant. In this way naming is done
in the kumal community. However, now a days, kumals following the Brahmin
culture, they call priest in the nwaran. Previously, the name used to give to the infant
according the day of the week.
5.5.4 Pasni/ Feeding
As in the other community, the pasni or feeding is celebrated popularly in the
kumal community as well. If the infant is daughter, pasni is celebrated on the 5th
month but if the infant is son, the pasni is celebrated on the 6th month and on the day
of pasni, the relatives and neighbors are invited. On that day various sweet and
delicious food types are prepared. Then the baby is decorated with new cloths and
bracelets of gold, silver, iron, copper and others. After that the Kanya girl feeds foods
to the baby with double coins. The tika is offered to the baby. After that, the delicious
foods are provided to the relatives and neighbors and depart from there. In this way
pasni is celebrated in the kumal community.
5.5.5 Chhewar
In kumal community bratabanda is performed of the son. Before marriage, at
the age of 5 or 7, chhewar is celebrated. Chhewar is performed in the animal shade.
First fall, bhar is carried out from inside the house. In the bhar two stick of sugarcanes
are put. To the root of the sugarcane, a pot of curd and a bunch of banana is put where
as to the peak of the sugarcane, green saag nad perungo with fish are put. After that
lamp on the soil paala is taken out from the house which is lit. Then Jagge is brought
out from the house. In the soli, various foods and drinks items like alcohal, chhyang,
bread, phulaura etc are put. Moreover, baby is carried to the shade by his mama and
after cleaning the baby chhura kara is done by making the baby sit on the gundri.
After this, Jwain tied thethread to the baby, and cap and new cloths are given to the
baby. Then the parents of the baby offer tika to the baby and then others offer tikas
to the baby and sagun is provided to the relatives and neighbors. In this way chhewar/
bratabanda was performed is the kumal community. But in the study area, such
tradition is not performed. It was already stopped due to the Hindu culture.
5.5.6 Marriage
Kumals have their own district types of traditional marriage system. For
marriage, caste should be some but the gotra should be differen. No marrital relation
is possible in the same gotral, though the caste is same in the kumal
community.Different types of marriages are in practices in this community like magi
bibaha, bhagi bibaha, jari bibaha and bidhuwa bibaha. However, magi bibaha and
bhagi bibaha are mostly practiced in kumal community. Magi bibaha is done only in
kumal community not in other castes. In kumal community, marriage is allowed
between mamacheli and phupu chela. Now a days such practices could not be found
in the study area.
For marriage, mangsir mahina is taken for good sign in this community. In
marriage 'Baru' plays the vital role. 'Baru' is recognized to the both houses in boy's
and girl's .When 'Baru' goes to the house of girl, the father of the girl asks that why he
had come. Then Baru answers that he had come put the load of his relatives or others.
Then, the girl's father asks again who the kutumba or relatives or others, then only
Baru tells each and every thing in detail. After this girl's father says its o.k. You come
having load now put it here and go. In this way, this day finishes and Baru returns
back from there. In this community, at the time of asking for girl, it is believed that
the days like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are taken as good days. While reaching
at the house of the girl, if someone is cleaning houses, the girl is taking baths and
bringing water from the tap or well are the good signs, believed in kumal community.
After, 7 or 15 days, the ' Baru' again goes to the house of girl. At this time,
'Baru' asks to the father of the girl what is the situation of the load that he had left
there. In response, from the side of girl, they say, if they liked the boy, that it was
good. But it they did not like the boy, they say that it was not better to talk about that
matter. At the time of marriage, the expense is beared double in the kumal
community. If the expense could not be paid, it is said that you try to cross the river
but do not have courage and trying to have salt but not to dare to break the piece .
Then the 'Baru ' returns back fixing the 'Bagdanta' saying day. Bolne
In kumal community, the marriage fixing day is called 'Bagdant Bolne. In this
day from the side of the boy the bride is brought to house of girl. Being together they
celebrate puja and fix the day of marriage. Keti Lina Jane Din
In the appointed day, bride groom goes with some people to the houses of
bride bringing things like cloths, mirror, comb and others. Then they bring the bride
to the house of bridegroom. Sindur Halne Din
After bringing the bride to the house of bridegroom, bride is put in majeri of
the house covering her with the sawl and then the bridegroom puts the sindur on the
siudo of bride.
31 Manna Jaane Parampara
After bringing dulahi in the house it is the practice that they go to respect the
sasurali, in the kumal community. In that day many people go to the house of bride
with bride and bridegroom as janti. When they reach to the house of dulahi, they are
welcomed by offering pooja in diyo and kalas. After that pooja is performed of
chhangra. Then both dulahi pachhya and dulaha pachhya sit separately on the mat and
dulahi pachhya scatters the aksheta on the pachhaura which is called religious
accheta. Moreover, chhangra is counted and put on the sawl of the bride and given to
her which is brought by the side of bridegroom. Then they start to have party on the
very occasion.
After finishing the feasting( bhojbhater) from the side of bridegroom, jwain
gives his saasu ek tapari roti, runche sapeta of pig and a pot of alcohol. At this time he
says," La hajur ko nega aayo, linus", and then hands over the soli. This very nega is
brought from the side of bridegroom. Then they return back to their home with bride
being formally good bye/ bidabari. In this way, marriage system is performed in the
kumal community.
5.5.7 Death
The death is the last funeral fire of human being. Kumals perform funeral fire
on their own way. However, it is not far from Hindu culture. When a person dies in
the kumal family, the dajubhai khalak and neighbours gather there. Some people go to
cut bans and the dead body is covered with white cloths and tied with the green big
gharo of bans. In the mouth of dead body, chamal is put and to buy land in new place,
the coin also is put in the mouth of dead body. It is believed that if the land is bought
in new place, the dead person in the heaven would be free from the debt.The dead
body is carried to the ghat by sons. In the house the part where the dead body was put
is washed. While carrying the dead body up to the ghat, some malami throw daal,
chamal, dhan, coins and others which called 'burko chharne' in kumal culture. The
dead body of kumal is either buried or burn. Previously, it used to be buried, but now
a days it is mostly burn. The cloths and bed of the dead body are thrown in the lonely
area. The malami throw some coins in the ghat and revolve round up to three times
around the grave saying that your everything in this world is finished. They believe
that the soul of dead body comes with the malami. To stop the soul of the dead body,
they put the thorn on the way pressing with stone.
If the dead body is female, ekmana chamal , aduwa, besar, daal etc are put on
their right ride. In the sorrow period, the kiriyaputri sit on paral by covering with
bhakari and mandro. They are fed by jwain in the morning. They take roti in the
evening. Salt, oil and meat are not allowed to eat at this time. In kumal community,
within 5 or 7 days the sorrow is finished. So far as the study area is concerned, by
15th days, the kiriyaputri stay in sorrow. Now a days they finish within 13th days. On
the last day, pork is allowed to take to all and alcohol and fish are compulsory in the
kumal culture.
On the last day of sorrow, house is washed, clothes are washed, and gold
water and gahunt are spread and taken and the house is purified. Some kumals bear
sorrow by 45 days, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. But some do not bear sorrow. In
the kumal community no shraddha is performed in the name of +dead person as in
Hindu culture. However, in every 'magheshakranti' the dead persons are remembered
and offered some pinda.
5.6 Education
Education is the framework of complete human being. Education is that light,
which makes a person integrated, moral and intellectual. Light of education makes
people educated and a group of such educated persons makes a country educated.
Education is most essential parts of human culture and civilization. But the
educational status of kumal is very much poor. According to the census of 1991, the
literacy rate of kumal was30.7 percentages. In higher education 20 people i.e. 0.0
percentages. In 2001, the literacy rate of kumal was 49.4 percentages.
If we study the history of our country, different occupation has been given to
different castes. Kumals did not get chance to be educated since the history. Because
of discrimination over other castes like kumals, the educational status of kumal is very
pathetic which are clearly presented in case 1.
Kattel (2001), says that kumal is historically uneducated community. It does
not have any reality and truth. He seems Prejudiced and biased to the indigenous
people like kumals because kumals in the past were leader, Mukhiya, Mijar,
Jimmawal and so on who used to manage their community politically, socially,
culturally, and legally. If so, how could kumals be historically uneducated? However,
the educational status is weak but not the historically uneducated. In the study area as
well, the educational status is not satisfactory. At the time of field work, no kumals
were found having passed master degree. The real educational status has been
presented in the table below:
Table No.7
Educational Status of the Study Area
Education level
Percentage Female
Percentage Total
B.A. above
Source: Field Survey, 2010
In the above mentioned table, under the age of school going 57 children have
not been included. Out of 536, 37 male (12.98%) and 72(28.68%) females are
uneducated. Comparatively, females are more uneducated than males.
Similarly, the higher the level of education, the weaker the number of kumal
students. It seems that the dropout rate is high in the children of kumal community.
Case No.1
According to Mr. Yam Bahadur Kumal, an inhabitant of Sandhikharka narrates the
events that had happened in his own life. There was no school near by the village of kumals.
School was very far from there that it used to take 3 hours on foots to reach up to the
primary school. His father had admitted him in that school. He used to go school every day
but he was always in fear because on the way to and from school, the school mates of his
own school who were of other castes, used to attack and beat him. While beating, they used
to say that being the son of kumals, why you are coming to school, mate! You have to
plough the field rather than to go school. Because of this situation, he did not have the
interest of going school, but his father insisted him to go to school.
One day, he was going to school. His friends told him to go school together. But he
did not agree with them. Then they started to beat him. In the course of beating him, his
right hand fractured and he returned back to home loudly crying. From the next day, he left
to go to school. In this way he was compelled to be deprived of from the education right.
This event clearly shows that how the kumals are being made deprive of from the education
right in the society.
5.7 Population
Prior to 1995, Sandhikharka was commonly known as the heavily malaria
affected area. Due to the dense forest and low land. There was high death rate caused
by malaria at that time. Therefore, others caste people did not want to settle there. By
the effective implementation of malaria eradication program in 1950. other castes
people attracted to this place. However, only establishment of district headquarter in
2032, in Sandhikharka, other castes people started migrating there. Now a days, other
castes people are in majority in the ancestral land of kumals.
According to census, 2001, the number of kumals in this area is 782. At the
time of field work in the selected households, the number of kumal was 593 in which
females are 280 and males are 313. This number on the basis of age- structure is
shown in the table below:
Table No.8
Age Wise Distribution of the Kumals of Study Area
Age- group
Source: Field Survey,2010
In the above given table, while analyzing on the basis of age- structure, the
greatest number 10-14 age group is 83(13.99%) and the smallest number 55-59 age
group is 13(2.13%).
This very total population has been divided into two groups on the basis of
economically active and economically passive which are given in the table below:
Table No.9
Distribution of Economically Active Population
Percentage Female
Percentage Total
Source: Field Survey, 2010
In the table above, the age group 0-14 and above 60 are taken as economically
inactive group. Among economically active population, males are more active than
females. So, the dependency rate is higher in the kumal community.
5.8 Religions and Rituals
Putting our faith on an invisible power and expect something from it is a
religious belief. Religion is the most important part of the human life. It is considered
as the history of human beings. Previously, man had no idea of supernatural power.
As they got suffering from super natural ghost, then it can be said that religion is
nothing than the belief in super natural power. In the past, people believed on various
types of gods and goddesses and started to worship them to protect their lives from
various types of sorrows and so on. At the time of field work, various informations
have been collected from key informants and senior kumals on the basis of which the
religious activities of kumals have been presented in this research.
5.8.1 Main Religion of Kumal
Kumals are the worshiper of nature/animism (Gurung, 2004p.125). It was
found out that the kumals of the study area are the worshiper of the nature. Kumals in
this area, worship Bhumi pooja, Deurali pooja, Nag-nagini pooja, Jhankri pooja, Tin
kukhure pooja, Banaskhandi or shikhari pooja, Kul plooja, Bayu pooja, Bhanger
pooja, Aaitabare pooja etc. These pooja are directly related to Land, Jungle, Air and
Ghosts. In others words, these worships are clearly related to the nature and hence
kumals are the worshiper of nature.
5.8.2 Nag- Nagini Pooja
Kumals also worship Nag Nagini. Nag and Nagini are believed to be snake
gods. It is believed that their worship protects the land from natural calamities such as
flood, landslide, lightening. In addition they are believed to protect them from other
ills and evils. They are offered milk of the cow, rice flakes, and other holy items.
They are usually worshiped in spring's damp sites. Two fowls are sacrificed in this
occasion as well.
5.8.3 Mandali and Semare Bai pooja
The Kumals regard Mandali Bai and Semare Bai as a great gods 'Bai' refers to
a local deity and it is represented by a tree or a shrub in nearby land. A particular tree
and a place around it is regarded as sacred. Mandali Bai represents male forest deity
while Semare Bai as female forest deity. They are worshiped because these deities are
believed to protect the Kumals from diseases like cold and cough, abortion diarrhea,
indigestion and others.
During the worship occasion some vermilion powder and rice flour are used
and twenty five boxes are drawn using the red and white powder lines. In each box or
room 'Dubo' 'Pati' and 'akshata' are offered and both the deities are worshiped. Each
deity is also offered two clean stone pebbles wrapped around by sacred thread, thread,
sacred flag and Akshata. In the four corners are fixed four fresh poles of a shrub
Amala. They are tied around and linked by sacred thread and long stripes of cotton
cloth. In the middle of each boxes sacred lamps are lit. Then a cock for male deity and
a hen for a female deity are sacrificed.
5.8.4 Deshantari and Firantari Mai Worship
The Kumals here also follow a tradition of Worshiping deshantari and
firantari Mai. These two deities refer to 'gods' or 'goddess' who looks after the humans
and cattle while they are one in the forest, field or tour. It is also worshiped to protect
people and cattle from evil influences and ill health. This is worshiped around a
sacred tree of sal shore a robusta once in June and the other is August.
5.8.5 Banaskhandi or Shikhari Pooja
Banaskhandi or Shikhari is called shatabhaiya and pachbhaiya too. This is
worshiped on the belief that they would be safe from evils while going to somewhere
else like tour,jungle, farm and so on. To worship this some materials are needed like
Dhanukan,Guleli, Bansko lingo, Chokho Chilim, Bans ko hukka, Tamakhu and surti,
Aago rakhiyako euta chilim and so on. In this worship two hen and cocks are offered
to the God and Goddess.
5.8.6 Jhankri Pooja
Jhankri pooja is also called sem pooja. Kumals worship this pooja in order to
save the animals. In this pooja, burying the four stones, and made the khal. Each
sembala, four mature cocks are offered. The pure milk of cow, Dhanuskan, laba and
porridge of rice are offered to those four stones called sem. Around the four buried
stones, patika sinka, abir and colourful cotton are offered.
In the pooja female sem Jhankri and male sem Jhankri are worshiped by
offering hen and cock. After cooking the meat of chicken, first it is offered ot Jhankri,
then only other take. This worship is performed either in Baishakh or falgun month in
nearby river or the slope region.
Except these poojas, Kumals celebrates other poojas like Tin khukhure pooja,
Chandi pooja, Kul pooja and so on which are taken as important poojas in Kumal
5.9 Culture and Festivals
"Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals,
law, custom and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society"(
Tylor, E.B. pp1).
5.9.1 Maghesakranti (main festival)
Magesakranti is the main festival of Kumals. In the very day they go to the
river, take bath and in the remembrance of their dead parents, they offer daal, chamal,
mass, besar, aduwa and flowers and then light the lamp. As in the Hindu, religion,
kumals do not do any shraddha. However, they worship their dead parents in this
festival, offering them 'Pinda' they say that no god is greater than their pitri in .in the
world, so, the Maghesakranti is the great festival of Kumals.
In this festival, mostly, all the members of the family gather in the home. They
invite their relatives and others in this festival. By getting together they share their,
pains, sorrows, and happiness and so on among and between each other. They prepare
various kinds of foods like sel roti, sakkhar, tarul, phuraula made from maas, fish,
pork, rakish, Jaand and others and they perform their cultural dances like pandure,
karuwa dance and so on.
Though the Maghesankranti is the main festival of Kumal, they celebrate other
festivals like Dashain, Tihar, Teej and other festivals being affected by the Hindu
culture in the present time.
5.9.2 Shree Panchami
On the day of shree panchami, plough (Halo) is worshiped in the kumal
community. First kumals plough the field by turning the plough (Halo) to the west
then turn to the west. But they do not plough form north to south. If they do so,
something bad will be happened, they believe. To worship plough, Kumals offer milk,
water, achheta, dhup, lawa and abir in the peak of Phali. But now a days, this system
is changed in the Kumal community.
5.10 Language
The mother tongue of Kumals is called 'Kumal language'. In 1991 1.8
percentages, in 2001, the population of Kumals having mother tongue is
6,533(6.58%) out of 99,389. The Kumal language is in the verge of extinction. Kumal
language is under the category of Bharopeli Bhasa Paribar( Yonjan, Yadav,2005). But
Bista (1967), in his book People of Nepal has put this language under the category of
Tibbat Barmeli bhasa pariyar.
5.11 Traditional Institution ( Mukhiya Pratha)
In the Kumal community, 'Mukhiya' is the traditional institution which was
fully responsible to direct, run and manage the community. This very traditional
institution was to be taken as the political institution which was to rule the Kumal
society politically, socially, legally and so on. However, it is not in the existence due
to the modern political, social, and cultural system which is related to political system
based on modern democracy.
6.1 Land
Previously, Kumals are the owners of the land in this area. But, now, they do
not have plenty of land and the land that they have is not much fertile. Mostly, along
with the process of modern development and technology, kumals have been displaced
slowly and gradually from this region which is clearly shown in the case study no.2
and 3. The nature of the land of the study area has been shown in the table no.6.
Table No. 10
Land Holding Size of Sample Household
Sampled household
26 above
1 (43 ropani)
Source: Field survey, 2010
In the table given above, it is found that the number of households having less
land is greater than the number households having more land. Since past, only one
household has not sold its land which still has 43 ropani lands. But others have been
selling their land since the past and are about to be land less.
At the time of field work, no kumals are found landless. However, most of the
kumals could not depend on the food for whole year produced from their own land
because they do not have plenty of land with them that they have sold it already. The
situation of food supply of this area has been given in the table below:
Table No.11
Food Supply Situation of Sampled Household
Duration(in month)
Sampled household
11 above
Source: Field survey, 2010
According to the table given above, only 7.92 percentage of households can
survive with the food produced in their own land for whole year .Because of the lack
of irrigation facility in this area, crops could not be produced well and in time and
hence production is very much less. So, the people especially, kumals in this area has
to face situation of famine.
Case No. 2
Mr. Bheg Bahadur Kumal (changed name)of 82 years old, the permanent
inhabitant of ward no. 6 of Sandhikharka VDC, this case no. 2 is based on his saying.
According to him, in 2032 B.S. district headquarter was shifted in Sandhikharka VDC
from nearby Narpani VDC. After that many were kumals have been displaced from
Sandhikharka. Some kumals households have been settled around the infertile and
sloppy area of Sandhikharka. So, the main settlement of the kumals are found in the
infertile and sloppy area in the present time. Moreover, some kumal were not
provided settlement nearly and hence they are compelled to migrate to the nearby
districts like Palpa, Gulmi, Pyuthan and others. Because of this pathetic situation, the
charge has been occurred in their traditional settlement pattern and they lost their
ancestral land which they have been using since the time immemorial.
After the establishment of headquarter in 2032 in Sandhikharka, only in 2035
B.S. the two Bhagwati Mandir was built inside the Shanti garden in Sandhikharka
which is dierectly related to Hindu religion. Before the establishment it is
Sandhikharka. This proves that Kumals are the worshipper of nature because in the
past no other people were found in this area except kumals. Kumals were the only
living people in this area.
Similarly, pottery making is the only traditional occupation of Kumals. But
after the establishment of headquarter, the pottery making occupation of Kumal has
been lost too. Present district hospital was the place from where Kumals used to take
suitable soil for pottery making. After the establishment of hospital kumals were
banned to take soil from there and hence they were compelled to leave their ancestral
occupation i.e. pottery making because of which kumals were displaced from there.
In totality, after the establishment of headquarter in this area, kumals were
made to become far from their ancestral land, occupation and so on. Similarly, drastic
changes have been occurred in the social, political, cultural, economic livelihood and
other aspects of the life of kumals.
Case No.3
The government had seized seven ropani land of Dhan Bahadur kumal
(name changed). The land had been taken to build district jail of Arghakhanchi.
He was compelled to be agreed to provide the land on the condition of
compensation. But, he couldn't get compensation equal of his land in present time.
He is asking for compensation of equal to his land value with the local
government. But, neither the local government could provide land nor other
facilities. The government said to him, you don’t worry about it because yours
land value will be increased later on and will make settlement. As a result, he had
deprived from his fundamental right because he is facing hand to mouth problem
in daily life. He had seven ropani lands as his property. He had been managing his
family from that land. Now, he is compelled to work as a labor/ porter to feed his
family members, because he doesn’t have any alternative solution. He and his
family are uneducated. He couldn’t send his children to the school due to the poor
economic status.
Thus, the local government has played negative role rather than positive
role to include the kumals into the main stream of development. Because of the
negative role of local government, kumals are facing various problems in the study
6.2 Animal Husbandry
Live stock is one of the sources of economic and agricultural development
which helps to grow the crops plantation for agriculture farming. Its manure also
advantage for cropping pattern. Agriculture has always been provided the kumals with
bulk of their food supply. A man's first investment after land is in livestock, milk and
meat are produced for consumption. The kumals keep cows, oxen, buffalo, pigs,
chickens, and goats. In the time of field survey, it was found that only one kumal
household sold the milk to the market and in one household the 80kg of pig was
observed. The details of the animal husbandry of kumals of this area have been given
as it is in the table below:
Table No.12
Number of Animal Husbandry of Sampled Household
Livestock No. of Animal and their No.
Source: Field survey, 2010
6.3 Occupation
The kumal of the study area depend on agriculture. So, it is the basis
subsistence economy of Sandhikharka. Land is the most important base for crop
production. Crops production remains the main source of income for all people. Small
farmer and poor ethnic groups' kumals obtain a relatively large share of income
through wage labor. Moreover the growing population creates food deficit and bring
additional expenditure. The extra income is essential to buy clothes, iron material, salt
and others works for household. So, the people of the study area involve basically in
agriculture along with wage labor foreign employment service and so on and clay pot
making and fishing totally displaced in this present time. The details of the occupation
of kumals of this area are given in the table no.9 below:
Table No.13
Occupational Distribution of the Sampled Households
Wage labor &Porter
Foreign employment
Private Technician(Electricity wiring)
Pottery making
Source: Field survey, 2010
6.3.1 Agriculture
Agriculture is one of the most important activities of the people of the study
area since the ancient time. Most of the kumals depend on agriculture. But, they are
facing difficulties to survive and facing the problem of the scarcity of food. The main
crops of this area are paddy, maize, barley, wheat, kodo mustard, phapar and so on.
The main vegetables are potato, cabbage, cauliflower etc. They normally use local
seeds though sometime improved seeds and fertilizers are also used. The nature of the
crops and techniques of agriculture are also determined by geographical factors like
altitude, climate, rainfall, nature of soil, the facilities of communication and inputs
used. Most of the land in this area is cultivated. But the land that kumals are having is
slope and infertile. They use very few fertilizers, as there is no irrigation facilities in
kumals land there.
Previously, kumals had plenty of land Khet and Pakhobari of this area . There
was irrigation facilities in the
khet but not in the bari which is still the same.
However, in the present time, Kumals have little baari rather than khet. In a way,
kumals, mostly do not have khet in this area. Mainly kumals have pakho baari.
Kumals having pakho baarim have to depend on raining for farming because of which
they could not farm on time and hence the production could not be well too.
The kumals are directly as well as indirectly involved in agricultural activities
in this area. But because of the lack of plenty of land suitable for farming, lack of
facility of irrigation and so on, they are facing difficulties for living. Having
difficulties to survive depending on agriculture, kumals of this area are compelled to
work as wage labor and porter.
6.3.2 Wage labor and porter
Wage labor is the second main source of livelihood of kumals in this area after
agriculture .In this area 118 kumals depend on wage labor and porter for their
subsistence. In wage labor and porter, kumal women, male and children who can
work, involve in this area. Because of lack of education, unskillful and lack of
alternative employment, some educated kumals are compelled to involve in wage
labor and porter. Kumals not having approach in other possible sector for
employment, involving in the wage labor and porter is their compulsion rather than
their interest and will. Kumals work as wage labor and porter for cash and goods.
Mostly as wage labor, kumals work in the field and constructing buildings. In
agriculture, they plough field, dig the field and others in the houses of Brahmin and
chhetri and others. In wage labor, both kumals male and females and children are
involved. They work for whole day and in the evening they come back to their homes
buying goods from the local shops with the money they have earned in that day.
Previously, they used to get goods for their wage, but now a days they get cash as
Each and every year, new construction is being made in the headquarter. Some
constructions are related to government and some are related to private sector. In the
both constructions, local kumals are highly involved as wage labor rather than other
people. Kumals not being very skillful, in construction, they work whatever they have
known. Kumals not having alternative employment facilities, such low level work is
the opportunities for them, they think. They also involve in loading and unloading the
goods in the markets. Kumals are involved in heavy work.
6.3.3 Foreign employment
Foreign employment is one of the strong sources of the national income
because the 18 percentage remittance is achieved by the foreign employment. The
kumals youth have been attracted to the foreign employment. In the time of field
work, 32 kumals youths are found in foreign employment in which22 kumals were in
Malaysia, Kuwait, Israel, Dubai and Qatar and so on. Similarly, 10 kumals youth were
in India.
These kumal youths involved in physical labor rather than mental labor
because they are not educated and skillful in particular work. Kumals youths in India
have been found involved in household work, labor and others like cleaning the pots
in the various hotels and restaurants.
At the time of going to foreign employment, kumal youths of this area sell
their land and keep it in bandaki. At the time of field work, one household was found
that he has sold the house and went to the foreign employment which is clearly
presented in the case no.4. So, foreign employment, in this area, has positive as well
as negative impact too. On the one hand, economically, they are being strong, on the
other hand, they are being landless as well and hence other people are being in
majority in land holding rather than kumals in their own ancestral land.
Case No. 4
This case has been prepared on the basis of the saying, of Mr.Purna Bahadur
kumal (changed name), a permanent inhabitant of Sandhikharka . He is the chairman
of the school management committee and a political activist too. This case is directly
concerned with his family. He had sold his house to send his first son to foreign
employment in 2064 B.S. the house was in the Sandhikharka bazar. According to him,
most of the kumal youth sell their land while going to the foreign employment. On the
basis of this case, kumals, in this area are selling their land and others are buying and
hence slowly and gradually, others are being in majority and kumals are being in
minorities in their own historical land.
6.3.4 Private Technical (Electric wiring)
Kumals youths, in search of employment, are attracted to the various jobs. At
time of field works, 3 kumals youths are found involved in electricity wiring.
6.3.5 Service
Kumals of this area are very few involved in the government service. At the
time of field work, 8 kumals are only involved in service out of them 2 kumals are in
police service, 2 teacher, 1 kharidar. These five kumals are in government service.
Other 3 kumals including peon and Boarding school teacher are in private services.
6.3.6 Pottery making
Pottery making is the traditional occupation of kumals. Previously, kuumals
used to depend on pottery making for their subsistence. They used to sell their
production to the nearby markets and villages. By this they used to achieve some
goods and cash as well by which they were surviving themselves. In the present time,
there is the flood of cheap, strong and attractive ceramic and plastic materials in the
market because of which pottery making is in the verge of extinction. Along with the
development of the concept of global village, the world has become very much
narrow because of which modern technology is everywhere in the world. Due to the
modern technology, traditional technology like pottery making is in crisis by means of
which oral culture of kumal i.e. pottery making is about to be lost. States full watch is
not reached to serve the pottery making of kumals. So, the state is more responsible
for losing the pottery making of kumals.
Though the pottery making is the traditional occupation of kumals, at the time
of fieldwork, no kumals were found to be making pottery in this area. They said that
in the city area, it was very difficult to survive by selling pottery making. So, they left
pottery making. Along with the establishment of district headquarter in Sandhikharka
in 2032B.S. the pottery making of kumals got lost which is clearly described in case
no.1. In the present time, if they need pottery, they bring from the nearby village
named Balebang where pottery making is still continuing.
6.3.7 Fishing
Fishing was one of the helping sources of income of kumals in this area.
Previously, kumals used to go fishing to the river. According to the key informant
Indra kumari kumal of 71, only the kumals used to go fishing because no other
people were there except kumals in this area. Kumals used to exchange the fish with
food, fruits and cash as well. There used to be fish always in their meal. By fishing,
livelihood was easier for kumals in this area. In fishing both males and femals of
kumals used to involve.
But at the time of field work, no households is found to be involved in fishing
because the drainage of Sandhikharka has been mixed in the river and the river is
about to dry up because of the high density of population. So, the fish could not be
found in the river. So, the kumals are compelled to leave this fishing occupation.
Kumals have other sources of income like alcohol making, marcha banaune,
and so on which are not included here because these are done very few.
6.1 Changes in Economic Activities
6.1.1 Change in the Land Holding Pattern
Kumals had plenty of land in this area in the past. They had easy access to the
natural resources. Their population was limited and hence they did not have any
difficulties for livelihood. Now a days, their population has been increased and they
have limited land. Moreover, the land that they have been fragmented along with the
development of single family system. So, the production is low/ limited too because
of which Kumals are facing the problem of Subsistence.
6.1.2 Change in Occupation/ Economy
Earthen pot making is the traditional/ ancestral occupation of Kumals. Along
with the development of modern technology and lack of clear cut policies of state, this
traditional occupation of Kumals have been totally stopped in this area. So, the
Kumals are compelled to shift their occupation from earthen pottery making to wage
labor, porter, and others.
6.2 Change in Socio- Cultural Aspects
Culture is a way of life. Economic activities, occupation and many other areas
of human activities are influeced by the culture of a particular locality or particular
group of people and at times economic activities, availability of various natural
resources shape and direct the cultural activities. Now a days , kumals cultural are
drastic changed due to development process and contact of others caste groups.
Language, rites de passages, dress pattern, food pattern, households' equipments and
so on are changed which is given below:
6.2.1 Change in Food Pattern
In the past Kumals of this area used to depend on the production in their own
land. They used to take foods like anto, bhat, dhindo, gunruk and so on. However,
they are changed in to wage labor, porter and so on and hence they use rice, wheat
flower, and others bought from the market. Previously, they used to eat Jand, raksi,
dry maize, roti, and others as snacks. But now they use dry foods like noodles, beaten
rice, biscuits choumin and others as snacks.
6.2.2 Change in Household Equipments
Mostly, in the past, Kumals used to use stone, soil and dry grass to build their
houses. The roof of those houses used to be of dry grass and shyaula except some
stone roof. They used to color their houses with red clay. Now a days, they build the
houses with bricks instead of stone and most of the roof of the houses are of tin.
Moreover, some kumal houses are of cemented.
Similarly, we find the difference in the structure of the houses. Previously, the
houses used to be of single room. This very single roomed house used to be the
kitchen as well as sitting, living and beds room of the entire members of the family
too. However, in the present time, all the members of the family have their own
separate bed rooms and the kitchen is separate as well.
6.2.3 Change in Priest
In the past, Kumals used to call their Bhanij and Jwain to perform their rituals.
All the karmakanda used to be done by them in Kumal community. But, now a days,
due to the influence of Hindu culture, kumals have started to call Brahmin priest in
their rituals.
6.2.4 Change in Birth
Previously, Kumals used to purify sutkeri in 3, 5,7or 9 days. But now, they
purify sutkeri only on the 11th day which is deep impact of Brahmin culture.
6.2.5 Change in Nwaran
According to the kumal culture the newly born infant was named by his/ her
phupu didi, Bhanja or mama. But now, Brahmin priest names the infant baby.
6.2.6 Change in Marriage
In the traditional marriage system of kumals, they did not use to use
Janaisupari. They used to use chhangra ganne, chicken, raksi and so on. Now a days,
due to the influence of Brahmin culture, they have started to use Janai supari.
6.2.7 Change in Death
In the past, Kumals used to mourn by 15th day, on the death of their family
members, according to their culture. They used to take pork, on the last day of the
mourning. But now, they mourn only by 13th day and do not take pork on the last
day of mourning. They donate cow which system was not in the kumal culture in the
past. Kumals did n't use to do shraddha on the name of their dead parents. But now,
they have started to do shraddha due to the effect of Hindu culture.
In this chapter, the conclusions have been drawn from the analysis of the
previous chapters that have been put forward. The focus has been given in the aspect
of changes in the adaptive strategies of the Kumals. These changes are related to the
gradual changes of natural, socio- cultural and economic environment of not only
Sandhikharka but also those areas surrounding it. The study has focused on to
elucidate how a specific group of Kumals of Sandhikharka of Arghakhanchi district is
adopting the means to adapt to their changing circumstances. It has been attempted to
look for the incidents and events that have played very vital role in promoting gradual
changes in the overall socio- economic and cultural environment of the region. The
main findings of the studies reflect the changes in these areas.
The Kumals are mostly an autonomous inhabitant in those particular areas.
But after malaria was eradicated in the lower part ( Beshi, lower elevation) of the hill,
Brahman, chhetri and others caste groups started to be attracted in the study area.
Specially, others caste groups started to settle down there after the establishment of
district headquarter. In the past, there were plenty of natural resources (land, forest,
water, animals) for the limited population and there was no problem of livelihood. It
means that there was no any competition for the survival. After the establishment of
district headquarter, the local government seized the land of Kumals for headquarter,
then the Kumals displaced from their ancestral land. After the settlement of different
caste groups in this area, autonomous Kumals were disturbed in many ways and had
to search other sources of livelihood. Such situation made bad impacts on their
economic system and are forcing them by force and other temptation like offering
high prices, to sell their lands, on which their livelihood depends. Thus, they are being
converted into a land less class of laborers and porters.
Land fragmentation is inherent in the social system of the Kumals and when a
property is divided among the Sons in each passing generation the amount of land
thus owned generally becomes very small in size and unfit for cultivation. The
exploitation system of land tenure causes rampant rural indebtedness and they are
ultimately compelled to sell out their lands for debt. These two socio- economic for
many years, have driven quite a number of people in to the state of 'near destitution' in
the villages of Sandhikharka.
The forest resources as well as the agricultural land are the most important
elements of natural environment in which Kumals are living. The access of forest
resources to the Kumals of Sandhikharka decreased along with the forest
nationalization of 1957 AD. Most important aspects of Kumal culture is pottery
making. Account of their profession of making earthenware pots, they are called
Kumal. Likewise, due to the involvement on pot making occupation traditionally,
Kumals are deterogatively called Mate (clay user). The technology of pot making is
simple but it is typical way of earthenware pot making. Due to the ecological
influence along with subsistence problem, they have abandoned their traditional
occupation and involve in others economic fields.
Kumals used to live in joint family in the past; they lived together many
families till long time. But, now a days, the joint family is becoming more smaller and
is breaking away from the system of traditional relationships. Relationships outside
the family system follow other channels. This trend is already seen in religious
spheres and festivals. Traditional festivals and worships are becoming shorter and
more formalized. They are influenced by the Hindu migrants and accepting some of
the features of their religion as their own.
The main religion of Kumals is nature/Animism. They worship forest, land,
water, Bayu and so on which are closely related to the nature. However, being
influenced by the Hindu religion and culture, now a days, they are following the
Hindu culture and religion. Because of the strong influence of Hinduism, the
fundamental culture, religion, tradition of
Kumals are being lost slowly and
The main festival of Kumals is Maghsakranti. However, now a days, being
influenced by Hindu culture they celebrate the festivals like Dashain, Tihar, and
others. In each and every festivals, Kumals are involved which is the strong impact of
Hinduism. Previously, Kumals used to follow their own culture from cradle to grave.
However, in the present time, they follow the Hindu culture from cradle to grave if
not totally, but partially. This shows the adaptive strategies of Kumasl in the changing
The socio- cultural feature of the Kumal is affected by the local environment.
For example, they have changed their dress pattern. The women wear Sari, Blouse
and men folk wear trouser, short inseam of Ghalekh,
Mugiya gunyo, Bhoto,
Kachhad. They have forgotten their own mother tongue. So, they dress in Nepali style
and speak only Nepali. So, Pandure dance is main dance of Kumal community. But at
this time, in the study area, this dance doesn't appear. This dance is replaced by
Nepali, Hindu dance and so on.
The Socio- economic and cultural environment has also been changed in the
study area over a long period of time. But, the Kumals of this region have not been
able to uplift themselves in educational development or progress. Although there is a
Sanskrit school from very longtime, the Kumals have not been able to get maximum
benefit from schooling, rather they have been encouraged socially and culturally to
drop off their schools and go to India at quite early age and engage in wage labor or
porter and support the family economically. Their low self esteem towards education
is partly due to high caste Hindu ideology and labeling.
Ultimately, the study area is being developed rapidly. It is in the process of
being municipality. But the Kumals of this area are being displaced rapidly from their
own ancestral land day by day along with the modern development process. It seemed
that the modern development brought the negative results over the kumal community
in this area rather than positive results. After the establishments of district
headquarter, Kumals are displaced from there, their traditional occupation i.e. earthen
pot making is stopped totally and their language, culture, religion, customs, norms,
values, traditions and so on mostly lost.
After, this study, some suggestions have been presented to bring the changes
in the socio- cultural and economic sector of the Kumal community.
1. To empower the Kumals of this area, awareness campaign, should be launched.
Similarly, to uplift the educational status of Kumals of this area, scholarship and
employment facility should be compulsorily provided.
2. Income generation programme has to be launched in the Kumal community.
3. To preserve the culture, traditions, rituals, language, occupation of the Kumals, the
state has to formulate the Kumal-friendly policies and programs in the newly
forming constitution.
4. ILO 169 has to properly be implemented.
If the state could manage the above mentioned conditions, the Kumals of this
area will be benefited and there will be the tremendous change in the socio- cultural
and economic situation of the Kumal community.
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Household Survey Questionnaires
VDC Name:
Ward no:
Name of Respondents:
Your living in this VDC:
1. Family Particulars
S.N. Name Relation
to Age Sex Marital Education Occupation
household head
2. Do you have your own land?
(a) If yes, how much …………………………….
(b) No
3. Have you borrowed land from others?
4. How many months do you survive with the food materials produced from your own
5. If you could survive 3 or 6 or 9 months, how do you maintain your food?
6. What is your traditional occupation?
7. Are you continuing your traditional occupations?
(a) If yes or no (b) Why …………………………?
8. How many times do you cultivate your land in a year? Why?
9. What modern techniques or seeds do you apply in agricultural Product?
10. What are the main source & other sources of income of your family?
11. If you tame animal please give me the following information?
12. How do you manage your cattle?
13. Do you speak your own mother tongue?
(a) If yes why ……………………
(b) If no why ………………………
14. To your mind, what are the causes that the kumal community in backward?
15. What are the main fairs & festivals of the kumals?
16. What are the main rituals of the kumals?
17. What are the reasons that make /Place the kumals in the present situation?
18. Do you have any suggestions to improve the situation of the kumals ?
Key Informant Interview
1. What is the history of origin of Kumals?
2. What are the traditional Institutions of kumals?
3. What are the traditional skills / Knowledge of kumals?
4. What types of law, rules and regulations were maintained to systematize the kumal
5. What are the main rituals of the kumals?
6. What type of family patterns were followed in kumal community?
7. What are the festivals of the kumals?
8. What are the traditional dresses of the kumals?
9. What are the traditional ornaments of the kumals?
10. What is the religion of kumals & why?
11. Do the kumals speak in mother tongue?
12. How is the relations of kumals with non- kumals?
13. What are the Sub-clans of the kumals?
14. What sub-clans of the kumals are found In Sandhikharka?
15. What is the traditional economy of the kumals?
16. How is the education of the kumals?
17. Are the any changes in kumal language, dress, occupation & cultural practices?
18. Why such changes…………
19. What factors/ causes brought the change in the community?
20. What are the main occupations &subsidiary the kumals in the changing context?
Group discussion
Checklist ( Women)
1. What are the traditional dress of kumal women ?
2.What are the traditional ornaments of kumal women ?
3. How kumals marry ?
4.How do you celebrate birth ceremony ?
5. What rituals do you perform in funeral fire / at the time of death ?
6.What sort of traditional skills do kumal women have ?
8. Do kumal women have equal economic rights as males ?
9. How your family treats in menstruation period & pregnant state &maternity time ?
Checklist ( kumal oldest men )
1.How the word kumal has been originated ?
2.What is the history of origin of kumals of Sandhikharka ?
3.Why kumals are backward from politics, economic, education, administrative & so
on ?
4.What are your livelihood strategies in the changing context ?
changes has brought in your (Kumals)
life with modernization &
Development Process ?
6.What differences do you find in the present in comparison to past ?