Magar Heritage Tour
The Magars are an indigenous ethnic group of Nepal whose homeland extends from the western and southern edges of the Dhaulagiri section of the Himalayas range. Representing 7.14% of Nepal’s population, according to the 2001 census, they are the largest indigenous group in Nepal. The Magars are divided into 7 major groups: Pun, Rana, Thapa, Ale, Budhathoki, Roka, and Gharti. Magar clans intermarry with one another and are officially of equal social standing. The 18th-century king, Prithvi Narayan Shah, the founder of the modern Kingdom of Nepal announced himself a Magar king. According to Hamilton (Researcher),Mincha and Khancha Khan, the forefathers of former Shah kings of Nepal, were of Magar descent. Of the 1,622,421 Magar people in Nepal, nearly 770,100 speak a Magar language as their mother tongue. The majority of Magars are Hindu, although Buddhism is common in the Magar area, some educated and prosperous Magars are shifting closer to traditional Hinduism in recent years.
The traditional costume of men are the ordinary kachhad or wrap-on-loincloth, a bhoto or a shirt of vest, and the usual Nepali topi. The women wear the pariya or sari or lunghi, chaubandhi cholo or a closed blouse and the heavy patuka or waistband and the mujetro or shawl-like garment on the head. The ornaments are the madwari on the ears, bulaki on the nose and the phuli on the left nostril, the silver coin necklace and the pote (green beads) with the tilhari gold cylinder and kuntha. Magar males do not wear many ornaments, but some are seen to have silver or gold earrings, hanging from their earlobes, called “gokkul”. The magar girls wear the amulet or locket necklace. Agriculture and the military are the primary sources of income but these days, they are also employed as professionals in the fields of medicine, education, government service, law, journalism, development, aviation and in business in Nepal and other countries.
Magar community practice or follow different types of culture and tradition. Some cultural practice of singing and dancing by the Magar community are as follws.
( KAUDA )
Kauda is a modified name of Kaura in modern days. It is a cultural dance, performed in Gurung and Magar community mainly in Gorkha, Lamjung and Tanahun district of Nepal for many years. Not long ago, Kauda served as a means to getting married. It allowed young boys and girls to express feelings of their love to their beloved one through songs, during local feast. If a boy defeats the girl, she had to marry the guy and go to his home. If girl wins then the boy would marry the girl and stay in her home as son-in-law. Back then, a popular practice, kauda now is on the verge of extinction due to lack of proper attention by young generation.
Gurung people dance Kauda in occasion of Lhosar where as Magar people dance in Maghe Sakranti.
( SORATHI )
Sorathi is a cultural practice of singing and dancing performed by Magar, Gurung and Kumal community. “Sora” in Nepali means 16 and there is an interesting story of how it started. According to legend, a king had 16 queens and to amuse them he would prepare a song about all sixteen queens, sing and dance in the middle of all queens. This practice of the king was then called Sorathi.
There are three types of participants in Sorathi. A boy, who is the main singer in Sorathi sings in form of king and is called Kotsingey Raja. Group of girls who support the singer and dance as well are known as Maruni. Other take part in playing “madal” instrument are known as Madaley. In recent days only Gurung seem to give it continuity.
( SALAIJEU )
Salaijeu is an act of singing and dancing, practiced by Gurung and Magar community. It is famous in Gorkha, Lamjung and Tanahun district of Nepal. The main performers in Salaijeu are Sali and Vena (in-laws). This relationship is an interesting phenomenal in Nepalese culture. ‘ Sali’s are seem to be fascinated by Vena’s and Vena’s believe that they have right over Sali’s. We can say that Salaijeu is named after ‘Sali’.
( DOHORI )
Dohori is also known as Juhari (duets) performed by terms of girls and boys where they sing in many different topics. Dohori is a duet singing which is in rhythm and involves quick and witty poetry. In Dohori, the performer has to respond as quickly as they can to the opponents. Love and marriage are usually the topic of Dohori which can last for long time. Some dohori singings have lasted as long as seven days. This is one of a unique practice in existence in the whole world.