Changpa Community

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 19, 2022, 6:03

India is a secular country with people from different religions and communities living together in unity. The beautiful stretch of Ladakh in Kashmir is the world's 2nd largest protected nature reserve, the Changtang nature reserve, which is not hospitable for farming. Still, it provides a natural habitat for many endangered species. The Changpa Community residing in the Changtang, a high-altitude plateau of the cold desert Ladakh and some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, were forced by China to move out. History reveals that the Changpa Community used to migrate to Tibet, but ever since China overpowered Tibet, the route has been closed, and they have been cut off from their summer pastures. The Chinese army invasion in Chumur and Demchock was the main reason for the same.

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Story About Changpa Community

  • The people of the Changpa Community are high altitude pastoralists, rearing sheep, goats, and yaks, especially the Pashmina (Capra Hircus) goats which are only found in very cold regions and very high altitudes. The Pashmina goat milk and the special fibre cashmere of the goat hair are important livelihood sources for this community.
  • The winters are too harsh for the working environment, so most of the rearing is done by the Changpa Community people during the summers.
  • The Changpa Community is further divided into two groups, the Phalpa, who are still nomads and take their herds from the Hanley Valley to Lato village, and the Fangpa, who live in settlements in Hanley.
  • Though the two categories of Changpa Community people have different lifestyles, people from both communities intermarry.
  • The main language spoken is Changskhat, a dialect of Tibet, and they follow Buddhism.
  • The pashmina or cashmere shawls have their unique identity and are world-renowned for their intricate handwork and highly valued wool quality. They are superfine and are exported all across the globe.
  • BIS, the Bureau of Indian Standards, has recently published an Indian Standard for the classification, marking, and categorizing of Pashmina products to endorse their purity.
  • Most importantly, the Changpa Community people are extremely hardworking and tremendously soft. They have an exceedingly clear vision of their goals and leave no stones unturned to meet their aspiration in the summer months, which is appropriate for working.
  • They are semi-nomadic, stay near pastures where their animals can graze, and then shift to another pasture area.
  • They trade pashmina shawls for rice, grains, and other basics.
  • They live in Rebo, special big cone-shaped tents.
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FAQs on Changpa Community

Q1. Where do you find the Changpa Community?

Ans: The Changpa Community is found in the Changtang, a high-altitude Tibetan plateau in Ladakh.

Q2. what is Changpa Community?

Ans: The superfine cashmere fibre derived from the hair of indigenous Pashmina goats helps them make the super valuable pashmina shawls known for their intricate work and thus exported all across the world.

Q3 What is the language of the Changpa Community?

Ans: The Changpa or Champa are a semi-nomadic Tibetan people found mainly in the Changtang in Ladakh, India.

Q4. What are the two tribes of the Changpa Community?

Ans: The two tribes of the Changpa Community are the Phalpa and the Fangpa.