Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lepcha, a people of Tibetan stock and speech, who form the substratum of the population in Sikkim and parts of Bhutan, along the southern slopes of the Himalayas. The Lepchas have acquired some degree of culture under Buddhist influences, and have reduced their Tibetan dialect to written form, using for the purpose a peculiar script known as the Kong alphabet. Type distinctly Mongolic, low squat figures (average height 5 feet), flat beardless features, yellowish skin, small hands and feet, full, broad chest, high muscular development. The Lepchas reject caste, and are specially noted for their omnivorous diet, which includes snails, caterpillars, the tender sprouts of ferns and other wild plants. They still purchase their wives, who do most of the hard work, tend the yaks, swine, and poultry, while the men rock the cradle and keep the Buddhist "prayer-wheel" going. They are a light-hearted, cheerful people, and very friendly to the English, who regard them as excellent fellow-travellers.