Chepang is the commonly used name given to an ethnic group living in central and southern Nepal.
The language is also known as Chepang but is called Chyo_bang by the people themselves. High caste Nepalese also call these people the "Praja" meaning "political subjects". The people speak 3 different dialects of this Tibeto-Burman language that is closely related to Raute and Raji, two undocumented languages spoken in western Nepal.
Chepang traditionally practised some slash-and-burn agriculture, or simple hoe-based horticulture along with mostly hunting and gathering from the forests. Since being resettled in southern Nepal and impinged upon by Nepali speaking groups, Chepang have begun plow-based agriculture.
Chepang men and women are basically egalitarian and no social ranking exists as it does in caste Nepalese society. There are no chiefs.
The Chepangs themselves follow Animism, although they are strongly influenced by both Hinduism and Buddhism, which came from the Tamangs just north of them. They observe all the Hindu festivals of Dashain, Tihar and Sakrantis besides their own tribal festival Nwagi, which is performed on a Tuesday during third week of Bhadra ( some day in August and September).
The best information on them can be found in works by Ross Caughley, Navin Rai and Ganesh Gurung.
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