Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/72

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32
THE PEOPLE

latter must be studied, but for the arts and industries, the architecture of the houses and temples, for all that is picturesque and historic in the valley, the present generation is indebted to the Newars.

The origin of the Newars has been a matter of considerable speculation. Certain authorities have stated that they came into Nepal in the eleventh century a.d., from southern India, in the train of a Karnatic king. This theory has, however, been exploded by the deductions of subsequent students of Indian ethnology. It is now conclusively demonstrated that they emigrated from Tibet and its vicinity, and settled down in Nepal when the world was in its making. This is supported by their cast of features, their character, their customs, and their language, all of which point to their Mongolian extraction. Centuries of intermarriage with other tribes from an Indian stock have reduced the strong traces of their origin, but a careful sifting of facts and records has proved that the Newars are the aborigines of Nepal. They constitute the largest section of its inhabitants, and form the bulk of the