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

* Scripture Prayers for the Chhantyal in Nepal.

* 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.


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
World Population 11,000
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; छन्तेल
People ID 19326
ROP3 Code 102071
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 32  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 12
Largest States
Dhaulagiri
7,800
Lumbini
1,000
Bagmati
800
Gandaki
800
Rapti
300
Bheri
300
Narayani
100
Mechi
80
Karnali
80
Janakpur
70
Seti
50
Kosi
20
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 32  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 12
  Dhaulagiri 7,800
  Lumbini 1,000
  Bagmati 800
  Gandaki 800
  Rapti 300
  Bheri 300
  Narayani 100
  Mechi 80
  Karnali 80
  Janakpur 70
  Seti 50
  Kosi 20
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
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Nepali
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video New Way (Naya Goreto)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video Until We Met
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Comic Book Version (SuperBible)
Text / Printed Matter Bible: नेपाली - Nepali
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter EasyBibles
Text / Printed Matter International Bible Society
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 International Mission Board-SBC - Robert Steed  Creative Commons  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

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