Introduction / History
The Kalaktang Monpa are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Kalaktang circle, from which they take their name. In the past, the Kalaktang Monpa did not possess a script, so their history was handed down in oral stories. Elderly Kalaktang Monpa men recall that their ancestors migrated to their present location from the Bumthang and Thalong areas in eastern Bhutan.
Where are they located?
Though most live in India's northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, some have spilled over into neighboring Bhutan.
What are their lives like?
The Kalaktang Monpa have a rich culture. They are skilled in dyeing, weaving, papermaking, carpentry, cane and bamboo work. They perform some very popular forms of a mask dance. Another source says, "they have many pantomime dances which are generally performed during the annual festivals, both in the monasteries and in the villages. The Ajilamu and yak dances are very popular." All Kalaktang Monpa were traditionally employed in farming or trading.
What are their beliefs?
All Kalaktang Monpa are thought to believe in Tibetan Buddhism. Their sacred place is called goompha which is adorned with the images of Lord Buddha and the Bodhisattvas (incarnations of Lord Buddha). The lama is their priest and his services are required to perform the birth, marriage and death rituals. Simultaneously they practice pre-Buddhistic animism or shamanism. They believe their animistic priest called phrame cures diseases and removes evil spirits.
They share a common goompha (religious shrine) with other Buddhist communities. Some of the Kalaktang Monpa send their children to the goomphas in the different parts of the country to acquire training in Lamaism. They have also established matrimonial and religious links with the other Monpas, Sherdukpens, Tibetans, Khambas and Membas
What are their needs?
The Kalaktang Monpa people need the opportunity to hear of the transforming grace of Jesus Christ, and be discipled in his ways.
* Pray these people will have their hearts ready to receive the good news. Ask God to send the appropriate workers to share with them the salvation and hope that Jesus brings.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring about a powerful disciple making movement among the Kalaktang Monpa people, both in India and Bhutan.
Text source: Keith Carey