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a nationality living in India and eastern Nepal, in the region of Chomolungma (Mount Everest). According to a 1975 estimate, there are approximately 25,000 Sherpa in India and 25,000 in Nepal. Their language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family. The predominant religion is Buddhism.
The Sherpa are descendants of Tibetans who migrated south of the Great Himalayas in the Middle Ages. Those in Nepal engage in yak raising and the cultivation of potatoes and oats; in the past they were intermediaries in trade between Nepal and Tibet. The Sherpa in India work mainly as merchants or as porters and guides for mountain-climbing expeditions. The Sherpa live in rural communities and are divided into 18 exogamous clans, each of which is known as a ru; the small monogamous family is prevalent, but polyandry and, less often, polygyny are still practiced to some extent.
REFERENCESNarody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963.
Stoner, C. Sherpy i snezhnyi chelovek. Moscow, 1958. (Translated from English.)