Gongduk in Bhutan

The Gongduk have only been reported in Bhutan
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest Bhutan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Gongduk people live in a few extremely isolated villages in Bhutan's Mongar District. Nothing was known about this small ethnic group until the Dutch linguist George van Driem discovered them in 1991. Van Driem wrote, 'The Gongduk language is spoken by a dwindling population in a remote enclave along the Kurichu [River] in east-central Bhutan.... In May of 1991, I discovered this previously unknown language in a remote portion of Mongar District, where I was conducting a linguistic survey of the country in the serve of the Royal Government of Bhutan.... Gongduk can be reached on foot from Jepzh 'ing, from which it is two or three days' journey to the south. It is also about a two days' journey up from the Manas River in the plains. This accounts for the fact that the Gongduk have remained largely unknown outside of the Gongduk area itself and its immediate environs. '
As van Driem studied Gongduk, he excitedly realized that he had found a unique language that appears to be the sole representative of a branch of the Tibeto- Burman family. Another source said that Gongduk 'retains the complex verbal agreement system of Proto Tibeto-Burman. It is said to belong to one of the ancient populations of Bhutan.'
Part of the reason the Gongduk remained undiscovered for so long is because the people pass themselves off as Kheng when they meet outsiders. Just why they do this is uncertain, as they have their own unique culture and language that is not mutually intelligible with Kheng. Van Driem further notes, 'There are currently just over a thousand speakers of the Gongduk language. According to one legend Gongduk was once long ago a small independent kingdom. The Gongduk themselves repeat that they are of aboriginal Dung lineage, or Dungjüt, and that their ancestors were semi-nomadic hunters.' In these respects, they are like the Lhokpu people of Bhutan.
One must wonder how many other small tribes and language groups exist in the hundreds of isolated valleys of the Himalayan Range. The Gongduk may have been one of the earliest people groups in Bhutan, but for uncertain historical reasons they were driven to their present location centuries ago. Bhutan was completely closed off to outside influence for centuries until 1960, when the king allowed more freedom. Little has changed in rural areas of the nation for centuries.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The religious belief of the Gongduk is Tibetan Buddhism mixed with animistic spirit worship.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Throughout two thousand years of Christianity, the good news that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world has never once entered the remote enclave inhabited by the Gongduk.


Prayer Points

Pray for Gongduk disciples to make more disciples.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead family heads to teach Christ to their wives and children.
Pray for the Lord to show himself powerful, holy and good to the Gongduk people.


Scripture Prayers for the Gongduk in Bhutan.


References

Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Gongduk
People Name in Country Gongduk
Alternate Names Gongdubikha; Gongdukpa; गोंगड़ुक
Population this Country 2,500
Population all Countries 2,500
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 0  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 11924
ROP3 Code 103435
ROP25 Code 302758
ROP25 Name Gongduk
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 36  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Approximately 1,000 Gongduk people live in a few extremely isolated villages in Bhutan's Mongar District.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file 2
Largest States
Eastern
2,500
Western
30
Country Bhutan
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 36  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Approximately 1,000 Gongduk people live in a few extremely isolated villages in Bhutan's Mongar District..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States 2
  Eastern 2,500
  Western 30
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
100.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest Bhutan census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Gongduk (2,500 speakers)
Language Code goe   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Gongduk (2,500 speakers)
Language Code goe   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Gongduk

Primary Language:  Gongduk

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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