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Lepcha also known as “Rong” Pitek, Emily


The Lepcha live along the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas, which is located in the districts of Sikkim and Darjeeling, India. This entry focuses specifically on the Lepchas of Lingthem, a town within Sikkim, India. The Lepchas practice at least two different religions, the older Mun religion (named after the priests), and Mahayana Buddhism (often referred to as Lamaism due to Tibetan influence). While the religions are quite contradictory with each other, they are practiced simultaneously and without animosity. Buddhism was introduced to the Sikkim area in the sixteenth century, and the majority of Lepchas now follow the Buddhist faith. As such, when using the term “religious group” this entry is referring to the Buddhist Lepchas.

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