Chhantyal in Nepal

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

Introduction / History

The origin of the Chhantyal people is described as a "mystery" in an article called Mentavolution. They are considered an indigenous people of Nepal by the Nepali government.

Although some anthropological research has been able to incorporate the Chhantyals, their origin is still a mystery. Although Chhantyals look 'Mongoloid' and speak Tibeto-Burman language, some believe that they are of Indo-European origins. According to some anthropologists the Chhantyals came to the Himalayas of Nepal from Tibet about 1500 years ago. In the past Chhantyals (Chhanthyals) have been miners of copper and once spread from Far-Western Developmental Region to the Western Developmental Region of Nepal.
There are no proof of their origins just ample stories and folktales about it. There have been various official papers discovered indicating the existence of the Chhantyals in Myagdi since V.S. 1654 (1598 A.D.) Ancient coins, weapons, potteries and metric tools indicate that Chhantyals were socially sophisticated people.

Chhantyal indigenous peoples have their own mother tongue known as Chhantyal Kham, which belongs to Tibeto-Burman language family. The Chhantyals' language known as Chhantyal Kham which has no written alphabet and no written script. Chhantyal speak their mother tongue. The language does have published books. Therefore, one can find books, magazines and dictionaries using Devanagari Script. The Chhantyals' language is considered endangered and in the verge of extinction. Sadly, there are no other ways to find out about their past because they were nomadic.


Where Are they Located?

Most of the Chhantyal are living in the western part of Nepal especially in Baglung and Myagdi. Some of them are scattered in Kathmandu Valley, Gulmi, Rukuum Pokhara, Rupandehi, Kaski, Dang, Chitwa, and Mustang.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Chhantyals have been living among other villages with their own distinct languages, lifestyle and culture.

For centuries, they have been living alongside of slope of Dhaunlagiri Himalayan range all the way to Kaligandagi Valley, working in the mines, agriculture and raising animal. Their occupation is mining and they specialize in mine exploration and mining. Chhantyal women are skilled in weaving woolen carpets and woolen blankets.

Chhantyals were miner until the Nepal government raised taxes to an intolerable level. One interesting fact is they taste and smell to determine the soil for mining instead of using any sorts of tools. Some Chhantyal villages in Myagdi and Baglung still have a suffix-"khani" meaning 'mine' in Nepali. Although traditional miners, they did not have the ownership of the mines but they were mere workers. Chhantyals used to mine for seven months per year. There were a total of 44 mines in Baglung and Myagdi which were mined by the Chhantyals and Magars. Today, the Chhantyals major occupation are farming and foreign employment around the world.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Chhantyals believe in Shamanism, animalism, worship their ancestor's spirits, and a variety of nature spirits by sacrificing animals. Most adhere to some forms of Hinduism and celebrated Hindu's major festivals.


What Are Their Needs?

Most Chhantyal people are Hindu, but a large number of them would consider their traditional religion to be their very own. Such traditional religion gives a small people group a sense of identity, and they often feel threatened by outsiders who bring them a different religious system.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Chhantyal people teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Chhantyal families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Chhantyal families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Chhantyal family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.


Scripture Prayers for the Chhantyal in Nepal.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-08-31
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-04-28
People Name General Chhantyal
People Name in Country Chhantyal
Population this Country 13,000
Population all Countries 13,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Chantel; छन्त्याल; छन्तेल
People ID 19326
ROP3 Code 102071
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 48  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 12
Largest States
Dhaulagiri
9,200
Lumbini
1,200
Bagmati
900
Gandaki
900
Rapti
400
Bheri
400
Narayani
100
Janakpur
100
Karnali
90
Mechi
90
Seti
60
Kosi
30
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 48  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 12
  Dhaulagiri 9,200
  Lumbini 1,200
  Bagmati 900
  Gandaki 900
  Rapti 400
  Bheri 400
  Narayani 100
  Janakpur 100
  Karnali 90
  Mechi 90
  Seti 60
  Kosi 30
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Nepali (7,600 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Chantyal
4,200
Bhojpuri
Primary Language Nepali (7,600 speakers)
Language Code npi   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Chantyal 4,200
  Bhojpuri 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)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Nepali
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video New Way (Naya Goreto)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video The Hope Video
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Nepali
Text / Printed Matter Children and youth resources
Text / Printed Matter Jesus Messiah comic book
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
39.40 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
2.57 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
56.59 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
1.44 %
* From latest Nepal census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  International Mission Board-SBC - Robert Steed  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more