Material Culture of the Lepcha, Inhabitants of Sikkim, India: An Anthropological Perspective
Lepchas are the original inhabitants of Sikkim, India. The Lepchas are of mongoloid stock and some anthropologist trace their origins to Mongolia or Tibet. However, the Lepchas themselves have no such history of migration in their traditional knowledge. They believe themselves to be the natives of the Sikkim and even consider Mt. Kanchenjunga as the abode of their ancestors. This study is based on Material culture of the Lepcha. Material culture is tangible and ponderable object produced or used by humans like clothes, ornament, kitchen utensils, tools, machineries. Aim of this study is to know the material culture of Lepcha people and to know what are the changes coming in their material culture along with cause and effect of such changes. In this paper it will be further revealed that traditional material culture used by Lepcha people are vanishing gradually. Material culture are surviving in their society just as an antique souvenir of the past. Though there are also some types of material culture which are still in use. Due to various reasons mainly due to contact with other culture we can see change in their traditional culture materials.Tourism, modernization, acculturation are some reasons for change.
Key words: Material culture, Tangible, Change, Modernization, Acculturation.
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