Thakali - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The Thakali community is endogamous and is composed of four exogamous patrilineages: Timtsen (Sherchan), Choeki (Gauchan), Burki (Bhattachan), and Salki (Tulachan). The four patrilineages are again subdivided into a number of family groups called ghyupa. Each of the four patrilineages has its own clan deities: the Lion for Timtsen, the Dragon for Choeki, the Yak for Burki, and the Elephant for Salki. Each respective patrilineage has its own "clan grave" called khimj in which a throat bone is placed on the death of a patrilineage member. In spite of the high mobility of Thakali merchants, the ethnic identity has been well maintained thanks to the elaborate ritual activities based on family, patrilineage, and tribe levels.


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