Evidence for Sunuwar as Kiranti

Dr. Lal Shyakarelu Rapacha
Vanishing Ethnicity, Cultures and Languages of Nepal

  1. Background
    Nepal is a sui generis and rich Himalayan country culturally and linguistically in South Asia. Its glory rests upon multi-race, multi-lingualism and multi-culturalism. On the contrary, her glory as such has been decaying one after another each day. Such is her plight. The process of linguistic and cultural degeneration, leading to complete extinction is taking place speedily even after the restoration of so-called democracy in the year 1990. In many instances, lesser known tribes like Kusunda, Raute, Raji, Athpahariya (Sananggo), Polmocha (?), Hayu and other minority tribes are disappearing without any
    special attention.

Along with them, their languages and cultures are facing the danger of extinction. The Kusunda tribe has already become a myth without any significant anthropological research. Their mother tongue till today is a language isolate. There are several
assumptions about the number of languages spoken within the national boundary. Linguists have not yet come to a single authentic conclusion regarding such varied assumptions.
Historians’ and anthropologists’ hearsays or faulty assumptions have badly affected in ethnic and cultural identity. Such tendency has given birth to further complications in the social status of lesser known nationalities in the Nepalese society. One of such socially underestimated nationality or ethnoindigenous group is ‘Sunuwar’ firstly known as Kõits in their indigenous mother tongue.

On the one hand, Northey-Morris (1927), Chemjong (1967) and Bista (1967) assume that the Sunuwars’ kinship resembles to Gurung and Magar. Their assumption seems bizarre only due to personal introspection lacking empirical observation. Utterly, their over-generalization without scientific evidence is prone to criticism. On the other, the term ‘Sunwar or Sunuwar’ according to Vansittart (1896) and Salter-Gurung (1996), etymologically has been derived from Sunkosi when the tribe started residing on the east or west bank of the river. Then, there must be a distinct ethnic identity before residing on those bank areas for several hundreds of years. My conclusion regarding the Kõits ethnicity in my thesis ‘Sunuwar Language: A Sociolinguistic Profile’ (1996) and research articles ‘Sunuwar as an endangered language of Nepal’ (1997) and ‘Demystifying the myths of Sunuwar’ (1998) is that they are one of the remnants of Kirant(i) ancestry having based on historical, anthropological, cultural, linguistic and toponymic grounds.

  1. Hostorical base
    Yet no historians have written any authentic or linguistically-based history of Kirant(i) ancestry in Nepal. Similarly, no history of Sunuwar (autoethnonym: Kõits and hereafter Kõits refers to Sunuwar) has been written till this moment. Of course, there are some underestimated propaganda by historians and etymologists (cf. Rapacha 1996, 1997). One of the pundits like Pokharel (1994) has defamed the term ‘Sunuwar’ as ‘Sunar’ or ‘Kinnar’. This misinterpretation has negative impact why Sunuwars hesitate to identify themselves as Sunuwar. Their number officially recorded was 17,299 in 1952/54, 13,362 in 1961, 20,380 in 1971 and 10,650 in 1981 (CBS); whereas the number was zero in 1991’s census. The Sunuwars have invisibly existed since the time of Srijunga Hang (AD 880-915) and Yalambar Hang of Nepal before reaching and residing on the west bank of the Sunkosi river. There are some groups of historians or writers, who identify the Kõits people’s kinship with the Hang or Kirant dynasty. Undoubtedly, their knowledge about the people is based upon their real life experience and folk narratives of their forefathers. Such narratives are more reliable than a priori assumptions made by historians and etymologists in the past.

One of the obvious reasons for relying upon folklore is that the Kiranti languages and folkore(s) have been orally transmitted to the new Kiranti generation since time immemorial. Underlyingly, there are many significant and reliable clues of kinships hidden amongst the Kõits and the rest of the Kiranti linguistic communities including Limbus (Yakthung, Tsong) in their history, languages and cultures.

Mabohang and Dhungel (1945: 41, 43, 45) opine that the Sunuwar (Kõits), Hayu and Chepang are modern generation of Suhachepang, who was one of the ten sons of Kirant Ingwa. Similarly, Yakkha (1998: 6, 12) supports Mabohang and Dhungel’s opinion based on folklore. According to Rai (1992) the superordinate term ‘Kirant(i)’ signifies Sunuwar (exonym), Rai (exonym) and Limbu (Yakthung, Tsong) in modern sense of the term. Furthermore, Sunuwar (1953), Sunuwar (1956), Sunuwar (1990: 23-32), Mulicha-Sunuwar (1990: 6-9), Mukhiya-Sunuwar (1992: 27) Sunuwar (1995: 36-50), Sunuwar (1995: 70-73), Sunuwar (1999: 13-16), Sunuwar (1999: 83-86) and Sunuwar (1999: 21-22) assure that the Kõits’s kinship with the rest of the Kiranti linguistic communities including Limbu under the Kirant(i) umbrella. Khambu (1995) observes that the Khambus of Sunuwar branch has descended from Khinchihang (also cf. Rapacha 2005 for folklore narratives), who is supposed to be the second son after the death of Sekrochang the son of Jumhang. These views are equally potential for further research on Kõits’s deep-rooted kinship with the Hang dynasty.

These facts and ideas stated here prove that the exoethnonym and titles like Sunuwar (Mukhiya), Rai (Jimi, Dewan, Majhiya) and Limbu (Subba) as such are lately coined false titles given to the defeated Hang dynasty. Similarly, the ethnonym ‘Limbu’ ends with Lilimhang’s history. The dynasty, in course of history was driven out to the remote hills of eastern Nepal, where the Hang remnants occupied several river-bank areas in the name of Kipat (communal land). There was no contact among them for hundreds of years due to the geographic and communicative inaccessibility. Then, they were destined to be divided in more that 2 dozens different languages, 47 unclassified dialects (Hanßon 1991: 112-113) and groups out of the same Hang dynasty.

  1. Anthropological base in clanonyms
    Their clanonyms having ethnolinguistic importance amongst them are one of the most reliable sources for socioanthropological understanding of the Kiranti people amongst more than two dozens of linguistic communities. However, the Kõits people is almost misunderstood and misinterpreted along with the passage of time as said earlier. Chemjong (1967 trans. 1996: 8-9, 14) has claimed that the languages of Sunuwar and Bayung-Rumdali (also known as Bahing/Rumdali) and Nechali (dialect of Kiranti-Bayung) are similar. His claim is authentic and valid linguistically from comparative point of view. The people might have spoken only one language in the past merely when we reconstruct
    historically. Recent linguistic studies (viz. cf. Opgenort 2005, Rapacha 2005, 2008) have proved Chemjong’s claim valid.

Contrary to Chemjong’s claim, I disagree with his anthropological view on Kõits. One finds no kinship proximity between twelve-clan-Sunuwar (Hindu dichotomy of 10 vs. 12) and Gurung or Magar which was already overgeneralized by Northey and Morris in 1927. The demarcation here of 10 vs. 12-clan is another false assumption mainly based on the Hindu caste sociology as a matter of Sanskritization or Khasization1. The Kõits and other Kiranti linguisitic groups’ clanonyms’ –cha (/-cā/, [-tsā]) or –chha (/-chā/, [-tshā]) suffixes can be
reconstructed anthropologically and linguistically from the following regular clanonym morphemes.

Kiranti-Kõits or Sunuwar clanonyms
Bangdecha Bigyacha Binicha Bramlicha
Khyõpaticha Darkhacha Dausucha Debbacha
Durbicha Gaurocha Jẽ:ticha Jijicha
Jespucha Kyabacha Kyuĩthicha Kormocha
Khulicha Katicha Linucha Laspacha
Lukhicha Lõkucha Mulicha Nomlicha
Ngawacha Na:socha Preticha Phaticha
Pargacha Rapacha Rawacha Rupacha
Ruticha Susucha Sochulcha Sapracha
Thugucha Tõkucha Thangracha Teppacha
Tursucha Yatacha …etc.
(Morris 1933, Rapacha 1996 and 2005)

Further clanonyms in Kiranti linguistic groups
Kiranti-Ambole (Wambule, RaDhu)
Bhawacha Mukacha Naksocha Sudimcho
Sallocha Tilapacha Dwarongcha …etc.

Kigmuchha Tumchha

Kiranti-Bayung/Bahing (Rumdali, Pwai, Necha, Hangucha,
Bramlicha Debucha Derpacha Dilingach
Dungmocha Hãgocha Hadulacha Hajupacha
Kharailch Khariyulacha Litumicha Munaricha
Mupucha Moblocha Mersacha Neplecha
Namersacha Prongmocha Parocha Piyacha
Ralicha Richa Rallocha Rakecha
Rildicha Rinamcha Seshocha Sechocha
Tholacha Tigmurcha Tembocha Tangdocha
Thamrocha Yumbucha Geralcha Kareilcha
Namerecha Ralecha Rumbacha Rinamsocha

Kiranti-Kirawa (Bantawa, Bontawa)
Baramachha Namercachha Naupuchha Chingchangchha
Biranchha Kãgmãchha Rãgmãchha Rugbuchha
Temachha Yãgmachha Yewitchha Pakmachha
Ripugchha …etc.

Kiranti-Rodung (Chamling)
Agbuchha Awalchha Badachha Barchha
Bhimchha Bujahichha Biklukchha Brajachha
Boyegechha Boyonchha Bumachha Bumakhamcha
Busirichha Butepachha Chalichha Buchinamchha
Chandachha Charichha Chiplinechha Chachha
Darbalichha Dibogchha Damdihõchha Dibuglechha
Dikulachha Dinalichha Dilichha Dibuchha
Dobalichha Dogdewachha Elungchha Gwachha
Haideugchha Horosuchha Homaichha Homdemchha
Homewachha Horachha Icharachha Hongdarachha
Hopohugchha Howabugchha Kalegchha Khereschha
Kheresogchha Kerupugcha Karmichha Khamtelchha
Kosõgchha Kolachha Kotwachha Kharaichha
Kuwasagchha Lapihõchha Likuwachha Lugbochha
Lugumachha Maidanchha Mairajachha Marwachha
Malchha Meharichha Molochha Mehrahatichha
Malepuchha Menuhachha Mongchha Mompalãchha
Mosimchha Napidirchha Nabohuichha Mukumuracha
Namnoncha Ninumchha Pibregchha Namragwacha
Ninabungcha Normanacha Porugchha Napchorpacha
Palagmuchha Pumbochha Polumochha Pogumsochha
Pokasagchha Puntechha Rannochha Patisigsanacha
Pungwecha Radolichha Rakimachha Rasognachha
Rakochha Ringlugcha Rolechha Sahamiaugchha
Rohochha Ronkunchha Salibirchha Sapsaramchha
Sarachha Saterogcha Senamcha Sasarchalicha
Sakoramchha Saksmagchha Sigdachha Sasarchalicha
Silõgchha Sogdolchha Sunmechha Soupthãgchha
Tabrechha Thigachha Tiligchha Tamukhachha
Thiguachha Tiluchha irikhechha Thugleniechha
Watenchha Wabohochha Yõgherchha Walemugdachha
Waliggirichha Yatimchha Yõgchechha Yogocharchha
in Deusa in Jubu Nanacha Hasticha

Hodicha Satmacha


Niracha Rapcha

Topchha Mopochha Sekachha Naupachha




Bekumchha Damrikchha Dumagchha Kartamchha
Muluhagchha Ratuchha Randochha Samsãgechha
Tammagchha Wanmachha

Birachha Plomachha


Hadikamchha Mokechha Ninambãchha Wayãgchha
Halachha Moksumchha Peypuchha Hastichha

Babauchha Chãgechha Chaurachha Dilãgchha
Dimachha Hospucvha Kurdachha Nambochha
Moksumchha Malekumchha Nardauchha Padarechha
Plembrchha Homodimchha Utepachha Regulaunchha
(Morris 1933, cf. also Rapacha 1995, 2005)

The clanonyms or kindred names cited here necessarily need not be accurate phonemically or phonetically since the Roman-Gorkhali orthography had been adopted in those days.
Some clanonyms like Dilpali or Jubile also cannot be considered as a separate clanonym today since their etymological link is in loconyms. There are many other clanonyms, which do not end in ‘-cha’ /-cā/ [-tsā] or –chha /-chā/ [-tshā] suffixes as well. The morphological shape ‘-cha’ forms one homogenous group amongst them. It has very significant semantic or grammatical relationships amongst the Kiranti linguistic communities and their languages2. It also functions as infinitive marker in Kõits.
The morpheme <-cha> /-cā/ [-tsā] in Roman-Gorkhali orthography is realized as /-cā/ and /-chā/ in Kõits and the rest Kiranti linguistic communities (cf. Rapacha 2005, Rapacha
2008 Chap 5 for a detailed comparative study) respectively possibly is a single infinitive marker while analyzed historically.
This relationship is also highly reflected in their tribal languages spoken in several parts of the eastern hills of the country. After all, there is no distinct demarcation amongst them underlyingly on the basis of their clanonyms. Of course, some basic linguistic and cultural variations occur because of geographical or communicative gaps amongst them for ages in the past and even in recent times.

  1. Linguistic evidence
    As in their clanonyms’ homogeneity or heterogeneity cases amongst them, their languages vary from one place to another. Though they vary each other, Kõits is one of the Kiranti languages, close-knit of Kiranti-Bayung. The linguistic grouping of Kõits as one of the western Kiranti languages is one of the strongest knots, which binds Kõits with the rest Kiranti linguistic communities in many respects. Their linguistic grouping as shown below is genetically valid till today.

Classification of Kiranti Languages
I. Eastern Kiranti Group (Limbu-Lohorung nucleus)

  1. A. South Western sub-dialect B. Chhathare Limbu
    Limbu (Yakthungba pa:n) Yakthungba pan
    Tamar Kholea (Taplejung)
    Yangrupe= Yangrokma
    Panchtharey/Phedape dialects (more separate against the other
  2. A. South Western sub-subgroup B. Chhilling Cluster
    (Yakkha-Athpahariya Cluster) Chhulung Rung: dialect Phanju
    Athpahariya Ring 1 Chhintang-Teli
    Belhariya Ring 2 Byangsi: no data (extinct?)
    Mugali=Lambichong Ring Chongkha: no data (extinct?)
    Phaingduwali poTi Longaba: no data (extinct?)
    Lumba-Yakkha=Yakkhaba cea
    Yakkha, Yakkhaba sala, Dewan sala, Dewan, Jimi
    North-Western subgroup
    Southern Lorung=Lo(h)rung khap, Yakkhaba,
    Northern Lorung= Lo(h)rung khanawa, dialect: Biksi(t)
    Yamphu(e) = Yamphu kha, Newahang, Yakkhaba

II. Central or mid Kiranti group
Southern subgroup
Bantawa=dum, ying, yong, cepma, yung
Main dialects: eastern or Dhankuta, Southern with
Hangkhim, Northern with Dilpali
Western (mainly in Khotang), Yangma, Amchoke,
Rongmahang (Dilpali)
Puma=pima, (ka) la (Rokong, I added)
Chamling= Camling La (Rodung, I added)
Main dialects: Kharmeli, Laphyang, Dumsa, Yongcher,
Kho(ng)cha, Ratanchha, Balamta and other localaties
(I added Balamta and Ratanchha)
North-Eastern subgroup: Meohang-Saam
Mewahang group: Eastern Meohang= khanawa, Jimi
Western Meohang= khanawa (Hodgson’s Balali?)
Saam group (perhaps one language SAAM; Newahang not
a separate language but abusive term cf. Rapacha
2008: 278-279)
Eastern subgroup=Sambya, Eastern Kulung
Western subgroup: Pongyong = Samakulung = kulung pun
(nearly extinct)/ Lingkhim (Sama kha) (nearly extinct)
Bungla (nearly extinct; clanonym of Newahang and
Newahang linguistic group, I added)
Nothern intermediate subgroup: Chukwa (clanonym of Lohorung?
my question) = Ring = Pohing = kha (nearly extinct?)
North-Western subgroup: Kulung-Sampang
Sampang= Sangpang gung, ging, kha
Main dialects: Ranohõchha Halumbung = Wakchali,
Samarung, Bhalu, Tongeccha (no data), Phali (=
Sangpang) Khartamche, Western dialects (Khotang)
Kulung: (Kuluring)
Main dialect groups: Mahakulung, Tamachhang, Pilmang
Associated dialect groups: Chhapkoa (Chhupkuwa clanonym
of Lohorung? my question), Pidisoi (clanonym of Kulung
in Chhemsi dynasty or lineage, I added)
Sublanguage: Sotang (sottoring, sataring (also
Nacchhering); seems a dialect of Kulung on the basis
of Swadesh wordlist comparison cf. Rapacha 2008)
Nachering: Nac(h)ering ru, tum (also Nathereng,
Nacchhering, Nasring etc. “Bangdale (Bangdel tum)
Sublanguages: Dimali, Parali, Dedangpa “Sangpang”
(nearly extinct)
Marinal subgroup: Dungmali group (Arthare-Khesang)
Dungmali: puk; tribal subgroups: Arthare, Hangbang,
Pungwai, Sotang, Waitpang, Tuncha
Sublanguage: Khesang(e)
Waling and Khandung (nearly extinct; very scanty data)
III. Western Kiranti (Koi-Wayu)
Southern sub group: Umbule = Chaurase (er, yor; also
Wambule, I added)
Jerung (zero or jero mala)
Marginal dialect: Badanchha
Eastern subgroup: Thulung (thululuwa, thululoa; also Dusali)
Lingkhim (not exactly known; cf. Rapacha 2008: 21, 200-
1, 390, 401, 432, 439, 490, 538)
Western subgroup: Bahing (Bayung, Bahing lo; also Baying,
Bainge etc)
Main dialects: Rumda(li), Necha(li)
Sunwar (Kwoico (sic) lo; Kõits lo, I added)
Sublanguage: Surel
Marginal Northern subgroup: Khaling (Khaling bra, bat)
Dumi (dumi boɂo, dumi bro)
Main dialects: Eastern (with Sotmali), Western (Makpa),
Southern (nearly extinct) with Bramsi
Koi: Koyu (koi boɂo, boɂ)
Marginal Western subgroup: Wayu = Hayu = Wayo
Marginal Halesidanda group: Tilung (tilung blama)
Choskule (no data)
Dorungkecha (no data)
Unclassified (insufficient data)

  1. Polmocha (Chamling, Kulung) 2. Angtep 3. Asmali/Asbhali (Chhilling group?) 4. Bala-Sama 5. Barung (Kulung) 6. Bartam 7. Chhula=Chula 8. Damdiyocha (Damdihõchha? my question) 9. Dangwa 10. Dikpali (?) 11. Dukhun (speak now Bantawa) 12. Dumjali (?) 13. Hanggelume 14. Haribung (Kulung) 15. Hawi (speak now Nepali) 16. Huwayo (=Wayu?) 17. Kunglecha 18. Khakhang 19. Khimdun (speak now Bantawa; Khimdung clanonym of Kirawa; I added) 20. Laidong 21. Magrehang (Magrhang, Magrayang; most of them speak Bantawa) 22.Mampuchi 23. Mangpang 24. Mangphom 25. Membageni 26.Mumlunh 27. Namlung (e) (perhaps a dialect of Kulung) 28.Phaksung 29. Phaling(e) 30. Pikhauli (now speak Bantawa) 31.
    Rajalim 32. Rarahang (speak now Bantawa) 33. Ratku (speak now Bantawa) 34. Rukuponne 35. Rupabung (clanonym of Kirawa? my question) 36. Sohon 37. Sukita (speak now Bantawa) 38. Tampile 39. Tengga 40. Thungmaram (Kulung) 41. Tilpung 42. Timta 43. Ukkhang 44. Uling (=Yakkhaba from Uling (Yamphe) ?) 45. Walang 46. Yalkha (?) 47. Yangkhrung (Hanßon 1991: 112-113)

On the basis of this linguistic taxonomy (see Appendix A’s Figure 4 for genetically related Kiranti languages), Kõits is one of the remnants of the single Kiranti language family. The western Kiranti group’s tribal proto-type can be ‘Kõi’ rather than ‘Koyu, Wayu/Hayu and Kõits’. Their linguistic proto-form for language is ‘Lo’ rather than ‘La, Luwa, Bra or Bro’.
Another best instance of linguistic reconstruction amongst Kiranti languages is Shafer’s ‘East Himalayish’ (1953) in which Shafer has reconstructed based on Hudgson’s ‘Bahing~Bayung Vocabulary’ (1857) and ‘Comparative Vocabulary of Languages of the broken Tribes of Nepal’ (1858). In his reconstructive analysis, Bahing~Bayung and Kõits seem almost one language rather than two different languages. Michailovsky (1975a) is
another best example of mutual intelligibilty between the Bahing~Bayung verbs with Kõits at least in verb imperatives. There are many similar cognate features between the two languages (cf. Rapacha 2008 Chap 5).

  1. Cultural evidence
    Besides similar linguistic genetics, one finds homogenousness in cultural practices of Kõits amongst the Kiranti linguistic communities albeit it slightly differs from one place to another. Their common cultural practice is reflected in Baishakhe Purnima’s Landworship or Fertility Dance. This traditional dance in their tribal language is known as ‘Shyãdar Sil, Sakela Sili, Sakenwa, Sakala, Tosi’ and so forth. Semantically, it signifies the fertility myth of the broken tribes. The terminologies mean ritual or fertility dance in all linguistic communities. Their homogenous cultural belief underlies in it. They practise shamanism and animism in accordance with their religious priest ‘Na:so/Nhaso, Nokso, Nokchung and Nochung’. The priests recite Salaku Mundum and Risiya Mundum incantations while worshipping in Kõits and the rest Kiranti cultures from Wallo ‘hither or near’ to Pallo ‘far’ Kirant areas. Again such practices differ from one place to another geographically and linguistically. Their cultural practice of shamanism and animism is inseparable element of the Mundum. Kõits’s ‘Shyãdar Sil’ represents one of such elements in the main stream of the Kirant Mundum even in contemporary society.
  2. Toponymic evidence
    In order to carry out research on Kõits as one of the remanants of Kiranti ancestry, last but not least ground can be toponyms in their mother tongue as a poof of first settlers in those areas. Many such instances are found in Kõits also as in the rest Kiranti linguistic communities including Yakthung or Limbu people. Some of the following names cited here have undergone historical changes or remained the same in Kõits throughout the different shreds of history from the past to the present day scenario.

Toponym A: Undergone sound alternations and change
Buch(j) >Bhuji Charnailu>Charnalu Cheredum >Cherdum
Dampatek >Dampate Hãm >Hãba Jirit >Jiri
Khĩchi >Khiji Kasthel >Kasthali Khĩtim >Khimti
Kat >Kati Lik >Likh >Likhu3 Ragan >Ragani4
Pletti >Pirti Prapch >Prapcha5 Rasanailu >Rasnalu
Phot >Photi6 Tanwa >Tanari7

Toponym B: Without alternations and change
Bẽber Blesnailu Chulepu Chuparu Chyokhadi
Disil Dhajadim Jirgu Grusithem Kyõkurpala
Kãitru Kashdim Kholmodim Kothdim Kidadim
Kagru Koloru Kespu Khuspu Kasga
Kerwa Koshpola Kyamkirtek Kubu Limti
Lise Lorkhĩ Lãkadu Lãkathem Lispu~Lisup
Masru Maitru Maladim Mugkaph Myudu
Pokali Nalodim Okhaldim Pakanthel Palathem
Paloru Phesdim Photru Peperu Pithru
Pospu Palapu Puldim Grududim Rasdim
Rajup Saipu Lasdim Sabra Sedapũkhi
Tispu Sekhrebot Sertewak Sotokaph Samjru
Darkha Palati Tãddim Sushdim Thinkep

A set of loconyms ‘simply local place names’ in Kiranti-Kõits tongue collected above in Toponym A, has undergone some phonemic changes in course of time. However, another set of loconyms in Toponym B, has retained typical Kõits feature since the Kõits tribe occupied Wallo ‘hither or near’ Kirant, viz. Okhaldhunga (formerly Chuplu) and Ramechhap (formerly Kirantichhap) districts as their Kipat ‘communal land’. These toponyms naturally may sound alien or exotic to different other speech communities only because they are christened in Kõits for the first time since they were the first settlers in those places. Furthermore, these topoethnolinguistic data have several semantic interpretations deep-rooted in the Kõits community as in other tribal or communal areas of Rai (exonym) and Limbu (Yakthung, Tsong), which also supports to prove the Sunuwars’ underlying origin in Kirant ancestry since these topoloconyms are close-knit of Kiranti-Bayung in its neighbourhood.

  1. Conclusion
    To conclude, the Sunuwar (autoetynonym: Kiranti-Kõits) is one of the remnants of Kirant(i) ancestry of the past and of contemporary Nepalese Kiranti society rather than any other falsifying and misleading accounts of some authors discussed earlier relying upon historical, anthropological viz. clanonyms, cultural, linguistic and toponymic facts produced, presented and discussed here. Besides, the Kiranti-Bayung folklore migration-narratives’ characters, e.g. Khinchihang and Paihang (Kõits-Bayung ancestors) are also additional and supportive evidence to the facts discussed in this essay.


  1. M.N. Srinivas first propounded the Theory of Sanskritization in his D.Phil. thesis at Oxford University. His theory mainly deals with a process by which “a ‘low’ or middle Hindu caste, or tribal or other group, changes its customs, ritual ideology, and way of life in the direction of a high and frequently ‘twice-born’ caste. Generally such changes are followed by a claim to a higher position in the caste hierarchy than that traditionally conceded to the claimant class by the local community”. He says the words karma, dharma, papa, maya, samsara and moksha are the most common Sanskritic theological ideas which become common in the talk of people who are sanskritized. This phenomenon has also been observed in Nepal among the Khas, Newar and Magar people over the centuries. Some equivalent terms like “Khasization, Nepalization, Hinduization, Aryanization, Bahunization” are also in use amongst writers.
  2. See Rapacha’s colloquium lecture ‗-cā and -hwāŋ in Kiranti clanonyms beyond morphosemantics‘ lectured at the University of Leipzig, 16 October 2008, Leipzig, Deutschland (Germany) and presented also at Oakfarm Pavillion Club, Farnborough, 3 January 2009, UK for comparative details and semantic interpretations in historical perspective.
  3. Lik changes into Likh and /u/ is inserted in Likhu probably via contact situation with the lingua franca Nepali
  4. Ragan changes into Ragani with /i/ insertion probably via contact situation with the lingua franca Nepali
  5. Prapch changes into Prapcha with /a/ insertion probably via contact situation with the lingua franca Nepali
  6. Phot changes into Photi with /i/ insertion probably via contact situation with the lingua franca Nepali
  7. Tanwa changes into Tanari by way of Nepalization inserting /i/ in the final position

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