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Nepal- Tamang Settlements
Tamangs are an ancient ethinc group of Nepal. They first migrated from Tibet, and now due to marginalisation from Kathmandu they have shifted to different parts surrounding the Rasuwa and Thancher district of Nepal. They are the indigenous inhabitants of the Himalayas regions. The study shows houses of Tamang communities situated at Gatlang and Salme. Gatlang is a village development committee in the Rasuwa district in the Bagwati Zone of Northern Nepal. Salme is a village development committee in Central Nepal. Both are situated on a terrace plain where the houses are stacked.
The word tamang literally means horse traders. Apart from this as their primary occupation, most of them are also farmers and act as trekking guides.
Houses here are slightly elevated forming a terrace structure due to the frequent occurrence of natural disasters like earthquakes and floods in the region. It generally is a two storied structure made using dry stone masonry. The upper story is used for storage of grain and other household possessions, while the elevated ground floor is used as kitchen, dining place and bedroom. The lower storey is used to host livestock.
The settlements experience a cool temperate climate and the rainfall here is quite heavy. They use passive design strategies to provide them with extra warmth which include the nature of the houses to be compactly built and clustered together such that their facades are attached to each other so as to lessen their exposure to cold winds. They usually have a balcony on the first floor and a porch beneath it in front of the main entrance. The porch is used as a comfortable place for the family to use in the winter whenever the sun is shining. Open hearth in the centre of the kitchen along with cooking provides warmth in the winter season. Wood or slate is used as the roofing material heavy stones are placed on them to prevent them from getting blown off from strong winds.
The tamangs have wisely chosen their place of habitation, keeping in mind the climate and resources around. People here follow Buddhism which is evident by the prayer flags hanging around the village. There's much importance to the tribal deity and buddhistic belief. They do believe that the deity will ward off the evil and protect them from the natural disasters to come.
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