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 Lesson 10: The Newars and the Tamang 

0081Kevin.jpg (106004 bytes) Welcome to the EverestNews.com Lesson plans developed by Kevin Cherilla ( base camp manager of the NFB 2001 Everest Expedition and 7th and 8th grade physical education teacher from Phoenix, Arizona) and the staff at EverestNews.com, the largest mountaineering publication in the world.

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The Newars and the Tamang (Click here for more information about the Newars and Tamang.) Further Reference Microsoft Encarta 99 – Find: Audio – Newar Religious Music of Nepal

Objective: The students will list three unique characteristics of the Newars and the Tamang. The students will locate on a map of Nepal where the Newars and the Tamang live.

Guided Practice:

1. Review material on the different ethnic groups of Nepal. Have two students give their report on the ethnic background of their own family.
2. Either read the information of the Newars and the Tamang to the class or have each student read it independently.
3. Locate on the map of Nepal where the Newars and the Tamang people live. Discuss the unique characteristics of each of these cultures.

Independent Practice:

1. The students will read the paragraphs on the Newars and the Tamang and answer the questions.
2. On a map of Nepal, the students will locate and color code where the Newars and the Tamangs reside.

Optional Extensions:

1. Have the students research typical clothes for the Newars and the Tamangs. Draw what these clothes might look like (using color) and share this with the class.
2. Research where different ethnic groups are found in the United States. Is the United States a completely blended country or are there places in the country where one ethnic group is more apt to be found? Discuss why this is.

Reading and Questions:


The Newar people are the great artisans of the country of Nepal. Their sculptures, paintings, metal work, and architecture are a source of great pride to the Kathmandu valley. Most of the Newar artwork is religious, with beliefs of both the Buddhism and Hinduism intertwined. There are 2,500 temples and shrines in the Kathmandu Valley that display the inspirational artwork of the Newars. Not only are the Newar people religious, but they are totally committed to family. It is common for one Newar household to consist of three generations of the family. The family is highly respected and could be considered the cornerstone of the Newar culture.


The Tamang people are named after a Tibetan word that means horse soldiers. The Tamangs at one time were rumored to have been part of the Tibetan calvary and now live outside of the Kathmandu valley. Today however, most Tamangs are farmers or craftsmen. Intricate wicker work and carpentry are the areas of expertise for the Tamangs. Like the Newars, the Tamangs are very religious people. Buddhism is the primary religion although some follow the Bon religion, which is said to be pre-Buddhist. Many ceremonies and rituals are performed for things such as good crops, personal well-being, and for the dead. Polygamy, having more than one wife, is often practiced although the government has banned it.

1. What are some unique characteristics of the Newar and Tamang people? Be able to list three interesting facts.
2. On a map of Nepal, locate and color code where the Newars and the Tamangs live.
3. What does "polygamy" mean and is it practiced in the United States?


Lisa Choegyal, Insight Guides Nepal, Langenscheidt Publishers Inc., New York, 11378, p. 79-81.

AZ State Standard - SS3 E5 Describe natural and human characteristics of places and use this knowledge to define regions, their relationships with other regions and their patterns of change, with emphasis on:

PO 1 common characteristics of regions at local, national and international scales on the basis of climate, landforms, ecosystems and culture.

PO 2 patterns of climate, landforms and ecosystems in a region.

PO 4 the concept of region and how and why regions change.

PO 5 relationships and interactions among regions.

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