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A Thami woman in Ilam District wearing Jhamke Bulaki, a typical Nepali ornament on her nose.

The Thami (in Nepali थामी) are an indigenous tribe of hills east of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. They mainly live "in Suspa, Kshamawati, Khopachagu, Alampu, Bigu, Kalinchok, Lapilang and Lakuri Danda villages of Dolkha District"[1] in East-Central Nepal. They are locally known as Thangmi.

They speak the Thami language, also called, Thangmi Kham, Thangmi Wakhe, and Thani.[2]

According to the 2011 Nepal Census there are a total of 30,000 Thami of which 55.74% were Hindus, 12.41% were Buddhists, 14.60% were Bon and 16.77% were Shamanists.[3] Legend says that the first Thami couple had seven sons and seven daughters. When the parents could not find suitable marriage partners for their children, they allowed them to intermarry. The Thami people are their descendants.

The Thami earn a meagre living through stone quarrying businesses and by joining the military forces. To escape this extreme hardship, many have fled to India to find better jobs. Many upper class members of Thami clan are living in Bhutan. They go to Nepal in search of employment, and to do business.

The Thami are shamanists, though they have come under strong Buddhist influence from the Tamang. Hindu influence can be also seen in their marriage rituals, which is a festival to them. Although they are poor they must make a chautara in the name of their deceased relatives. Recently many people of Thami clan are seem to be joining Christianity.


  1. ^ Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. "Nationalities of Nepal". Nepal Democracy, Gateway to Nepali Politics and Civil Society. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  2. ^ Thami at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  3. ^ Dahal, Dilli Ram. "Chapter 3. Social composition of the population: caste/ethnicity and religion in Nepal" (PDF). (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2014-06-09. Missing or empty |title= (help)