Believed to have migrated from Tibet, the Tamangs reside mainly in the high hills north of Kathmandu. Due to the lack of irrigation at higher altitudes, their crops are often limited to corn, millet, wheat, barley, and potatoes. They often supplement their farming income with manual labor. The Tamangs have their own language, which they speak among themselves. Some older residents in isolated communities never learn to speak Nepali.
Tamangs are Lama Buddhists, as are most upper Himalayan peoples. They have gompas (monasteries) in every sizeable village. And like most of Nepal's people, the Tamangs retain jhankris (shamans) in addition to their lamas (priests). These jhankris perform certain rites such as trances and sacrifices to alleviate problems or assure good fortune.
Other family names of the Tamang caste are: Bomjan, Domjun, Yonjan, and Moktan.