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Magar: a short introduction

Published on 2:10:00 PM //

Magar: an introduction
sanju magar
The Magar people are one of the indigenous ethnic groups of Nepal. The Magar is a tribe widely distributed in the country with its firm demographic grip over a vast tract of land around Kaligandaki region. Historically the magar are considered to be the settlers of magarat on Kaligandaki and northern region. Now the Magar community is over mid and far west Nepal: Dailekh, Jajarkot, Rukum, Dolpa, Rolpa, Salyan, Puthan, Palpa, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi, Syanja, Kaski, Tanahun, Nawalparasi, Myagdi, and Baglung. After the unification of Nepal, the Magar moved to the eastern part of country and today Magar population is also found in several east Nepal's hilly districts such as Udaypur, Khotang, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Dhankuta, Terathum, Illam etc.
There are different arguments about the origin of Magar. Some classify them under Indo-Aryan group and other into Tibeto-Burman. Though in terms of religious following and rituals, they have close contact with indo-Aryan group of people, they are linguistically, physically and ethnically related to the Tibeto-Burman. According to John Hitchcock, an anthropologist, some Magars have no such legend regarding their origin. If asked where they came from, people mostly says," We have lived here always." Magar historian such as Dr Harsa Bahadur Budha Magar finds close connection between the Magyar of Hungary and the Magar of Nepal. The official name of Hungary is Magyar. There is a similarity between the Magyar and Magar. Magar scholar Dr Harsa Bahadur Budha Magar has done indepth search on this issue.
Magar houses are different in shape and size. Some of the houses in western hills are small and egg-shaped, while others are round and oval in shape and washed with white or red colour. Most of the traditional houses have two storeys, made up of mud and stone with thatch and in some cases slate roofed. Most of the houses in the eastern hill are square.
Like many other ethnic groups, the economy of Magar is based on agriculture. Along with farming they are also involved in animal raising, weaving, producing clothes in their traditional way. They produce corn, millet, wheat and paddy along with some vegetable like potato, soybean, onion, and bean. They also raise cow and buffalo for manure and milk. Likewise they keep sheep, goat and pig for meat. Also traditionally many magar youths are found to be enlistment in the army in both Nepal and India and magar youths are also favourite in British troops. Like the Kirat and Gurung they are recruited in the British Army. Many of the Magar warriers received world famous VC (Victoria Cross) and other medals for their bravery in the world wars. This is the pride not only for magar people but also for whole the nation.
Now days the magars have migrated to city areas, terai and other places like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Dharan, Butwal, Bhairahawa, Palpa, etc. in search of better life with means and amenities. Today one can find Magar activists in politics, in administration, business and industry. At present the British government has provided British citizenship to British service men.


There is a controversy about the religion of magar. Magar mainly follows Hinduism and Buddhism. Some follows Hinduism and most of them follow Buddhism. Most magars worship the same god and goddesses as other-Mahadev, Ram, Ganesh, Vishnu, Durga, Laxmi, etc. They observe the festivals like Dashain, Tihar, Buddha-purnima, Chaite-dashain, Sri-panchami, and others. They also observe a number of their tribal occasions and festival for worshipping clan deities. The magars also observe the rice feeding ceremony and tonsure or the hair saving ceremony which is known as chhewar. Many magars are the temple priest in most of the Hindu temples such as Gorakhali, Manakamana etc. At the other hand, some magars perform their ritual occasions and festivals by employing a Brahmin priest. The Buddhist magars employ a Lama to perform life cycle ceremonies in place of Brahmin priest.
The magars are endogamous. so they usually marry within the relative circle such as mother's brother's daughter known as mamaki chhori is often chosen as a preference. People also go to other clan to seek a partner. There is arranged and capture marriage prevalent among magar community. In the capture form of marriage, the boy with the help of his friends or relative captures and takes away his fovourite girl. The boy may or may not have asked his parents for his approval. If the boy's parents have not been informed, the couple has to stay in the friend's or relative's house until their acceptance. Within some days some of the elder people from boy's side go to girl's with a theki of cord and sagun. That is said as sodheni jane There they talk about the marriage with girl's family and fix the date of marriage ceremony. In the marriage ceremony the groom's side goes to the bride's home with the wedding procession accompanied by the musical band of damais (panche baja). First the swayambar is performed. During the night, kanyadan ceremony is performed. All the marriage rites are conducted by the Brahmin priest in most of magar community. During the marriage, feast, pork, batuk with home made beer, chhang and raksi becomes a main menu for the guest. After passing few days, the couple again goes to the bride's house as a Duran pharkaune.After spending some days there, they return back to their house.
When a magar dies, the body of the deceased is covered in a white cloth and tied to a bamboo structure at five places. The corpse is carried by the sons. The magars place the dead at confluence of two river and burn there. Mourning is observed for eleven days by the nearest relatives and the neighbours. During the pollution period, salt and oil is abstained from. The sons from any part of the world come home for the funeral rites. The death pollution takes place for a period of 10, 12 or 13 day. On the last day, a feast is hosted to all malami and nearest relatives. The magar widows do not wear red coloured cloth and bangle during her life.


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  1. It was really very nice to go through your Introduction part. Keep going with new things about our Magar

  2. Is there any original food of usually we can easily find of newar like chhoyla


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