Lepcha - Religion

The Lepcha practice two mutually contradictory religions simultaneously, without any ambivalent feeling. The older Mun religion, named after the title of the priests, involves a special relationship with a family spirit. This spirit is appeased by animal sacrifices and by direct communication, as part of an effort to ward off evil spirits who cause illness and disaster. It is interesting to note that, among the many myths and legends of the Lepcha, there are many accounts of the Abominable Snowman (Yeti) in the glacial regions of the Himalayas, and he is worshiped as the god of the hunt, the owner of all mountain game, and the lord of all forest creatures. Tibetan Lamaism was introduced in the seventeenth century and is rooted in a priesthood and in sanctity gained by learning, not by inspiration; the sacrifice of animals is considered a terrible sin by members of this religion.

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