India – Lepcha

India – Lepcha

Tibetan ǀ South Asian


Photo: Lepcha man. Wikimedia Commons.

The Lepcha are a Tibetan people. Formally known as the Rongs, the Lepchas believe that they are the true indigenous people of Sikkim and Darjeeling, a primeval race as old as the Himalayas. The word Lepcha, or Lapche means the people of vile speech and was a contemptuous appellation given to this tribe by the dominant Nepalese. Historically, Lepchas are considered to be oblivious to personal possessions. As a community they were dependent on nature. The only possession they seemed to have was their faith in Mount Kenchenjungha as their mother. They were not keen about forming villages. But with the increase in population and various invasions they were compelled to start living in small hamlets in the valleys and forests. They currently number about 46,000 (11,000 in India; 25,000 in Sikkim; and 10,000 in Bhutan).

Indian – Lepcha represents 48 random Lepcha from the East District of Sikkim who were sampled in 2002 by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in West Bengal, India.

Source publication: Concordance Study on 15 STR Loci in Three Major Populations of Himalayan State Sikkim, JFS, 2002, p1163-1167.

[Population 357]