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Belonging and Tamang Social Organization of Rhui

Mukta S. Tamang

Tribhuvan University



The concept of rhui or clan features significantly in Tamang social organization.  Rhui plays a central role on kinship relationship, marriage exchanges and family formation as well as in varieties of inter-clan linkages in forming larger societal organization.  Rhui membership regulates behavior and obligations towards kinsmen, right over common property and certain access to rituals as well as rules of marriage.  More importantly, clan function as category above the family for linking a member with greater society even beyond Tamang.  Based on the demographic information collected from larger Tamang region of Tamsaling and ethnographic materials from a village, this paper explores understanding of local construction of sense of group belonging and identity through practices of relatedness.