Thakali - Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. The Thakalis claim that their society is egalitarian within the ethnic group. As a whole, intensive social stratification cannot be observed except for a certain kind of socioritual ranking.

Political Organization. The leadership of the Subba Families was established in the mid-nineteenth century after the Nepal-Tibet wars. Under their leadership, the Thakali Community had enjoyed semiautonomy within and without the group in the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley and neighboring areas, like Panchgaon, Baragaon, Lo, and Dolpo. It lasted almost until the end of the 1950s, when the majority of the Influential Thakali merchants started their migration toward the south. The new leadership, however, has not been set up within the Thakali community yet in the urban areas nor even in Thakhola. Under a main Subba who administered Thakhola, there were thirteen mukhiyas, or village heads, who formed a "tribal" council and the village councils in thirteen Thakali villages of Thakhola.

Social Control. Among the Thakalis in Thakhola, social control was predominantly exercised by the Subba families. But it gradually shifted to the administration of the central government by social change among the Thakalis themselves and the nation building of the kingdom.

Conflict. The sources of conflict with other ethnic groups were mainly based on competition in trading transactions and the local political domination in the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley and neighboring areas. The conflicts, however, used to be compromised or solved under the leadership of the Subba families. In recent years, the Thakalis have had to deal with troubles with other ethnic groups on an individual basis and through legal measures. The same is true for conflicts within the Thakali community.

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