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(self-designation, Rong), one of the Himalayan peoples living for the most part in the principality of Sikkim, although isolated groups live in West Bengal (India), eastern Nepal, and western Bhutan. Total population, circa 40,000 (1967, estimate).

The Lepcha language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family; the Lepcha have had their own written language since the 16th century. They have been Lamaists since the mid-17th century, but they still retain many animistic religious beliefs. Their principal occupation is terrace farming and, to a lesser extent, slash-and-burn agriculture (rice, corn, buckwheat, and millet); less important livelihoods are hunting, fishing, and stock-raising.


Narody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963.
References in periodicals archive ?
chairpack "I found this incredible woman; she's a descendent of the Lepchas, the original inhabitants of Sikkim who used to live in the forests and have been forced out to live in villages.
The Lepcha tribe (present habitat in Sikkim, India), before coming to their present habitat moved through and settled in various places like Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Assam (India) during their migration [8].
By asking the people to stay indoors in the name of agitation, the GJM is pursuing an "autocratic" style of governance even after the GTA was formed as per its wishes, the chief minister said here during a felicitation by the Lepcha community.
As far as Mongoloid racial stock is concerned, this includes tribes of Himalayan region, especially of North-Himalayan zone as, for example, the Naga, the Chakma, the Lepcha, etc.
The dialogue was enriched by the participation of Rajiv Gauba, joint secretary of MoEF, JM Mauskar, special secretary of MoEF, Ritwick Dutta, a leading environment lawyer, Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network on Dams, River & People, Chandra Bhushan of CSE, Pema Lepcha of Affected Citizens of Teesta from Sikkim, Vijay Taram of Forum for Siang Dialogue from Arunachal Pradesh and Arwat Challam of Samrakshan Trust from Meghalaya, Ravi Rebbapragda from Samata, Dr Krishna Murthy from Paryavaran Parirakshan Sangham, Leo Saldanha from Environment Support Group, Bangalore, Mahesh Pandya from Paryavaran Mitra with many others.
Soldiers in helicopters tried to get to the area while other rescue workers used heavy machinery to try to clear the roads, local official Janim Lepcha said.
Claret Lepcha is wearing a lime-colored churida, a loose-fitting tunic and slacks.
Umbule, Puma, Hyolmo, Nacchering, Dura, Meche, Pahari, Lepcha, Bore, Bahing, Koi, Raji, Hayu, Byangsi, Yamphu, Ghale, Khariya, Chhiling, Lohorung, Sunuwar, Majhi and Bhujel are endangered languages as they are spoken by only a few elderly and fewer adult people.
Lepcha and Balti Tibetan: tonal or non-tonal languages?
They also say it will have a negative impact on the Lepcha communities, who live a traditional, pastoral way of life and consider their land to be sacred.
Lin-ge in lepcha, a local indigenous language, means a triangle of eight mountain peaks.
People in the East and West have different working styles and communication styles," says Lynda Ongel Lepcha, who has set up a New Delhi call center training institute, Holistic Enterprise, that teaches employees on-site.