Bhujel

Bhujel (also called Gharti, Khawas, and Nishel) is an indigenous ethnic group of Nepal. The Bhuji and Nishi area in Baglung are the ancestral land of Bhujels. They are culturally and historically close to the Magars. The Bhujel language, belonging to the Tibeto-Burman family, is related to that of the Chepangs.
Myth With Regard to the origin of Bhujel
Before the development of Bhujel society, a group of people used to live in and around a place called Hugam (presently located in Western Nepal. A deity (deuta) also used to live in a rock near this place. He used to see a girl from this village every evening. As the time passed the lady got pregnant. She informed her parents about the development and asked them if anyone could help her spot the place of abode of her lover. Her parents advised her to tie a thread on the thumb of his leg when he comes to see her next. When her lover came to see her she did as advised by her parents. In the morning when she followed the thread she found that the thread had entered into the nearby rock. When she pulled the thread the deity shouted inside the rock in pain.
After identifying the residence of the deity the parents of the girl requested him to marry their daughter. As a super-natural being the deity expressed his inability to get married to human being and settle down with them. He, however, advised them that he would bestow upon them the art of easy and permanent methods of living for the descendants of the lady. The deity then gave them the knowledge of field preparation, crop cultivation, and harvesting. He further gave them a pair of bullock, plough, agricultural tools, utensils etc. and he vanished from there.
After sometime the girl gave birth to a boy. As the boy grew up he not only practiced agriculture but also performed hunting. He married his maternal uncle’s daughter after he grew up to be a young man. As he was a very hardworking and intelligent hunter the people started calling him Bhujji (The King of Hunters). The descendents of Bhujji multiplied and spread across Hugam, Taka, Bachri, Kwa, Jgar. Bhujji also constructed a fort at Masa Valley which was known as Bhujikot. Later the whole of the region including Masa Valley came to be known as Bhujikot. Further, all the people living in the region were identified as Bhujels. As time passed, Bhujels were fragmented into various clans. The bhujels residing in Hugam were known as Bura, those living in Taka were called Gharti, bhujels living living in Bachri were called Pun, those living in Kwa were known as Kawas or Khawas and those living in Jgar came to be known as Jarra.


Population
The population of Bhujels as per the Nepal census of 2001 is 117,644. Many Bhujels live in India, mostly in the Darjeeling district.
Bhujel are also found in Bhutan usually in the southern region. Now Bhujels in Bhutan have flourished all over the Kingdom and have taken up various career options. Although exact population of Bhujel in Bhutan is unknown, it can be expected around 10,000.
Bhujel (also called Gharti, Khawas, and Nishel) is an indigenous ethnic group of Nepal. The Bhuji and Nishi area in Baglung are the ancestral land of Bhujels. They are culturally and historically close to the Magars. The Bhujel language, belonging to the Tibeto-Burman family, is related to that of the Chepangs.