Shepherd, G. (1982). Life Among the Magar. Kathmandu: Sahayogi
Annotation by: Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa
This work is the outcome of a study on the life of Magars in western Nepal. The writer introduces Magars to outside world as, “Of the numerous ethnic groups in Nepal, there was one group in particular that caught my attention. These people were the Magars, major group whose actual numbers may never be known. There were 300,000 people who spoke that language, but like Khams and most other ethnic groups, a considerable number of Magars now spoke only the national language, Nepali. Everywhere Magars found they had gained a reputation for honesty and hard work. The Magars were a Mongolian people who had migrated into Nepal in the predawn of history. Many of the ethnic groups had legend that told how they had come to Nepal from Tibet or some other, but not the Magars. For them, at least, history simply began and ended in Nepal.
The writer relates an incident, albeit controversial, about Palpa king invading Kathmandu valley. “In the sixteenth century the Magars invaded Kathmandu under the leadership of the Palpa king Mukunda Sen. In the 1750s, Prithibi Narayan Shah, the “father of modern Nepal,” was consolidating the many petty kingdoms scattered across the land. For this task he counted heavily upon his Magar soldiers.” The writer has questions still unanswered, “But who were the real Magars—the original ones? I found that most likely it was the Magar community which was to be found in Central Nepal in Palpa, Syangja and Tanahu districts.”