Yakthumba Limbu in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The majority of the Limbu live in the extreme eastern section of Nepal; however, a few live in the adjacent Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal. They live primarily in the area between the high Himalayan Mountains and the plains of northern India.

The Limbu are closely related to the neighboring Rai. Together, the two groups comprise the Kiranti, a large tribal group which lives in much of eastern Nepal. The Limbu are of Mongolian descent and speak a dialect of Kiranti called Limbu, which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family.

The Limbu are known and admired for their bravery, fearlessness, and strong work ethic. They enjoy drinking and dancing, and these two activities are practiced at nearly all important events, including weddings, funerals, gift exchanges, and conflict settlements. These events give the young people opportunities not only to enjoy the drinking and dancing, but also to meet one another.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Limbu are almost exclusively farmers, growing rice, corn, and millet as staple crops. They often use a mixture of straw, leaves, and manure to fertilize their fields. Those who live at lower elevations often cultivate rice on terraces that are painstakingly carved out of the mountainside. The terraces are irrigated by diverting streams or springs and allowing them to flow down from one terrace to the next. In addition to their cultivated fields, nearly all the Limbu have gardens near their homes, where crops such as spinach, cabbage, potatoes, mangoes, and oranges are grown. In an effort to generate extra income for their families, many Limbu men join either the Nepalese or Indian army.

A poor Limbu family may live in a house made of mud or bamboo with a straw roof. In contrast, a wealthy family may inhabit a two-story stone structure with an iron-sheet roof. However, the most common type of home is more durable than the first type but less elaborate than the second. Most houses are poorly ventilated, poorly lighted, and have little furniture. At the front of the house, there is usually a verandah that faces a large courtyard. The courtyard is used as a place to carry out family chores and to spend leisure time.

In Limbu families, the wife plays a very active role. This is partially due to the fact that the husband often leaves to join the army to generate more income. During her husband's prolonged absences, the wife holds the family together and is the main decision-maker concerning household matters. When a young woman marries, she lives in constant fear of her mother-in-law. Many brides return home because they are unable get along with their mothers-in-law. Until the bride is accepted by her husband's mother, the marriage remains quite shaky.

Interestingly, the Limbu are hesitant to address each other by name. Calling out a name in public is taboo and creates embarrassment.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Many Limbu follow a combination of Buddhism and their traditional beliefs. While they recognize and participate in many important Hindu festivals, they also hold animal sacrifices to appease their gods, a practice condemned by Hinduism. The Limbu do believe in a god who created the universe, but they worship him as a force or energy rather than as a personal being.

The Limbu believe that after a woman marries, she inherits her mother's gods, who are then recognized as the gods of the young woman's household. If her husband commits an offense or causes a problem, he is required to be washed clean of his deed in order to appease the household gods.


What Are Their Needs?

Very few of the Limbu have become Christians. Nearly all continue to follow Buddhism, Hinduism, and their traditional ethnic religion. Christian intercessors are the key to breaking the power that Satan has over their lives.


Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call Spirit-filled Christians who will share the Gospel with the Limbu of India.
Ask the Lord to strengthen, embolden, and protect the small number of Limbu believers.
Ask God to raise up a mighty army of prayer warriors who will faithfully intercede for the Limbu.


Scripture Prayers for the Yakthumba, Limbu in India.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Yakthumba, Limbu
People Name in Country Yakthumba, Limbu
Natural Name Yakthumba Limbu
Pronunciation yahk-THOOM-bah lim-BOO
Alternate Names Black Mountain; Chaang; Chang; Monpa; Ole Monpa; Olekha; Tsono; लिम्बू
Population this Country 166,000
Population all Countries 622,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 13065
ROP3 Code 105776
ROP25 Code 304724
ROP25 Name Limbu
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 20
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Sikkim
63,000
West Bengal
59,000
Assam
35,000
Uttarakhand
1,800
Meghalaya
1,300
Manipur
1,200
Himachal Pradesh
1,100
Arunachal Pradesh
700
Mizoram
700
Uttar Pradesh
200
Tripura
100
Nagaland
100
Andaman and Nicobar
90
Madhya Pradesh
80
Jharkhand
60
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 20
  Sikkim 63,000
  West Bengal 59,000
  Assam 35,000
  Uttarakhand 1,800
  Meghalaya 1,300
  Manipur 1,200
  Himachal Pradesh 1,100
  Arunachal Pradesh 700
  Mizoram 700
  Uttar Pradesh 200
  Tripura 100
  Nagaland 100
  Andaman and Nicobar 90
  Madhya Pradesh 80
  Jharkhand 60
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
3.90 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
9.81 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
63.81 %
Islam
0.10 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
21.33 %
Unknown
1.05 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Nepali (119,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 24
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Limbu
15,000
Bengali
2,600
Hindi
1,600
Assamese
400
Sadri
50
Lepcha
20
Tibetan, Amdo
20
Naga, Chang Naga, Yimchungru
Tamang, Eastern Boro (India) Urdu
Lambadi Sikkimese Chin, Thado
Primary Language Nepali (119,000 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 24
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Limbu 15,000
  Bengali 2,600
  Hindi 1,600
  Assamese 400
  Sadri 50
  Lepcha 20
  Tibetan, Amdo 20
  Naga, Chang 10
  Naga, Yimchungru 10
  Tamang, Eastern 10
  Boro (India) 10
  Urdu 0
  Lambadi 0
  Sikkimese 0
  Chin, Thado 0
People Groups Speaking Nepali

Primary Language:  Nepali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1850-1961)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1821-2010)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1914-2012)
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YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
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Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories Story Runners
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Nepali Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
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Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
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General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Nepali YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Nepali YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version Super Bible / Comic Bible Society
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Denis Belitsky - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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