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The tribe, culture, economic pattern and lifestyle of the people in the Himalayan region are greatly influenced by the varied geography and the climatic condition of the region.

Himalayas : Himalayan Facts : The Tribes and People of Himalayas

The Tribes and People of Himalayas

History tells us that the original inhabitants of the Himalayas were the Kinnars, Kilinds, and Kiratas. Our Hindu epics and Puranas give reference of their existence in the Himalayan regions. History also mentions the names of Khasas and the Darads. But today only three different ethnic groups form the Himalayan population. They are the Negroids, Mongoloids and the Aryans. The population, settlement in the Himalayan region is greatly influenced by the topography, economic pattern and the climatic condition. The climate condition is one of the main factors for the population settlements since extreme climatic condition imposes a restriction on the living conditions and tends to restrict movement and communication. But the ethnic groups living in remote valleys of the Himalayan region have generally conserved their traditional cultural identities.

But improvements in communication and transportation system have improved the lifestyle of the people living in those regions. The modernization is affecting the traditional cultural and social system of the areas. The population in the Himalayan region is nearly about 40 million. The Hindus of the Indian origin mainly dominate the Sub Himalayan and the Middle Himalayan valleys. In places like eastern Kashmir to Nepal it is mostly Hindu population. While in the Great Himalayan region in the north it is mainly the Tibetan Buddhists who are seen from Ladakh to northeast India. In central Nepal, both Indian and Tibetan cultures have blend together, producing a mixed culture of Indian and Tibetan traits. While in the eastern Himalayas in India and nearby areas of eastern Bhutan people practice religion and culture similar to those living in northern Myanmar and Yunnan province in China. Muslims are mostly seen in western Kashmir and their culture is similar to the population of Iran and Afghanistan. The people of Sikkim mainly belong to three ethnic groups. They are the Nepalis, the Bhutiyas and the Lepchas. The Lepchas are now a minority class but they are the original inhabitants. The main occupation of the people in the Himalayan region is agriculture and animal husbandry. But recently trade and commerce had played a vital role in the lives of the people living in the frontier villages in Himachal, Ladakh, Kumaon and Garhwal.

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