Object structure


Contemporary Bönpo Community in Tibetan Refugee Camps


Ethnologia Polona 37 2016 (2017)


Szymoszyn, Anna


Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences

Place of publishing:


Date issued/created:



ill. ; 24 cm

Subject and Keywords:

Himalayan people ; Tibetans ; Dolpo ; Mustang ; Bön ; populations ; religious minority ; migration ; boarding school


This article describes a religious minority group called the Bönpo who live in Tibet (China), Nepal and India. Bönpos live in villages, in scattered communities and in two Tibetan refugee Bönpo camps in Himachal Pradesh (India) and in Kathmandu Valley (Nepal). This article presents the social policy of religious leaders from both camps, who have been mixing different ethnic groups and nations in one camp in order to help this niche culture survive. One of the effects of such policies carried out over the last 50 years is the deep influence of Tibetanness on Himalayan people, mostly from Mustang and Dolpo, who have grown up in Bönpo refugee camps. In the article, I analyse population data in detail to show how small the Bönpo community is and why their leaders have pursued such a social policy focused on religious and Tibetan identification despite ethnic and national differences


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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences



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