Sherpas Of Solukhumbu

The Sherpas, also called Sherwa, are a Tibetan ethnic group indigenous to Nepal’s most mountainous regions. They are also native to Tingri County in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Himalayas. Sherpa or Sherwa has two root words from the Sherpa language. The words shar (“east“) and pa (“people“) make up the word Sherpa. It refers to their geographical origins in eastern Tibet.

Most Sherpa people live in Nepal’s eastern regions and Tingri County. Some live further west in the Rolwaling Valley, Bigu, and the Helambu region north of Kathmandu. They are also the major ethnic group of the Solukhumbu region. Solukhumbu houses Mount Everest.

At various times, Tibet and Solukhumbu were connected. This gave rise to the four major Sherpa clans: Minyagpa, Thimmi, Sertawa, and Chawa. These four groups eventually splintered into the more than 20 clans of Sherpas that exist today.

They speak a language called Sherpa. The Sherpa language is part of the Tibeto-Burman language family. It also includes dialects from Eastern Tibet (Khamba) and central Tibet. However, this language is distinct from Lhasa Tibetan and incomprehensible to Lhasa speakers.

The Sherpa language is unique as it is primarily only spoken. But you can also find it occasionally written in Tibetan or Devanagari script.

Most Sherpas live in Nepal and speak Nepali in addition to their native tongue. Tibetan may be spoken by those educated in Tibet or in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Most of those who rely on mountaineering for a living are multilingual. They also speak one or more of the languages of climbers and tourists.

Sherpas build gompas to practice their religious traditions. Tengboche was the region’s first celibate monastery. A lot of such monasteries can be found on Nepali mountain trails. You can deduce that Sherpas inhabit nearby places based on it.

Sherpa People of Nepal

The Sherpas are primarily Buddhists. Their major festival is the festival of Loshar. Gyalpo Lhosar is the Sherpa name for Lhosar. It occurs in the English calendar in February or March. It is celebrated with Guthunk and Chhyang (Tibetan beer) dumpling feasts. The houses are cleaned thoroughly, with special attention paid to the kitchen, where the family eats.

The Buddhist faith of Sherpas dates back a long time. As per oral Buddhist traditions, Tibetans migrated in search of Beyul. Beyul means Buddhist pure-lands. In the same way, Sherpas might have migrated as per Buddhist beliefs.

Sherpas have an ancient educational practice called Nyingmapa. Nyingmapa practice was a traditional method of passing down ancient knowledge. They were traditionally passed orally through a loose network of lay practitioners. Later adaptations of such education include celibate monasteries with celibate monks and nuns.

Sherpas carry a lot of supernatural beliefs. They also hold beliefs in reincarnated spiritual leaders. Sherpas strongly believe in hidden treasures and valleys. They have a strong belief in the Yeti. For centuries, people have believed in the existence of the Yeti. Traditional paintings frequently depict the Yeti as a human-like creature with long, shaggy hair.

Sherpa clothing is similar to Tibetan clothing. Factory-made materials are increasingly replacing home-spun wool and silk. Many Sherpas now dress in ready-made western clothing.

However, traditionally kitycow robes, which fall slightly below the knee, are worn by men.

Sherpa People of Everest

Such clothing consists of clothing items called Chhuba,Tolung, Raatuk, Kanam and Tetung. They are worn in the following way:

  • Chhuba – It is tied around the waist with a cloth sash called kara, forming a pouch-like space called tolung.
  • Tolung – It is a pouch worn with Chhuba.It can be used to store and carry small items.
  • Raatuk – It is an item worn like a bloude inside Chubba
  • Kanam – Trousers that go with Chhuba
  • Tetung – Outer jacket

Also, traditionally, women wear Tongkok. They are long-sleeved floor-length wool dresses. In warmer weather, they wear angi, a sleeveless variation, over a raatuk (blouse). These are paired with brightly colored striped aprons, metil in front and gewe in back. The clothes are held together by an embossed silver buckle called kyetig.

Many Sherpas are well-known as elite mountaineers and local experts. They were useful to early Himalayan explorers. They served as guides at the high altitudes of the region’s peaks and passes. Sherpas were particularly involved in expeditions to climb Mount Everest. Tenzing Norgay Sherpa being among the first expeditor is proof.

Today,“ Sherpa” is stereotypically used to refer to any guide or climbing supporter hired for Himalayan mountaineering expeditions. Most traditional Sherpas make a living out of mountaineering, even in current days.

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Ashish Niraula

Ashish Niraula is a seasoned trekker and professional tour consultant based in the country of the Himalayas. He has over seven years of hands-on experience in the sector, which has helped fortify his knowledge and expertise to craft the most iconic and memorable adventure packages in the Himalayas. Ashish’s passion for traveling and the unwavering drive that always pushes him toward excellency, have helped him earn a reputation as a trustworthy advisor in the tourism sector.

As a traveling enthusiast, Ashish has explored all the major trekking routes of Nepal. With years of experience exploring the mystical Himalayas and professional engagement in the field, Ashish honed his skills to design the most iconic adventure experiences in the Himalayas that cater to the adventure palate of every traveler. From organizing the challenging treks to the rugged Himalayas with incredible thrills to facilitating culturally immersive experiences across the traditional settlements in the country, Ashish’s commitment to excellence shines through every aspect of his work.