The Newar
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The Newar

Makers and Merchants

Makers and Merchants

Discover a richness of life within the ancient Kathmandu valley in Nepal. Here reside the Newari. Newari or Newa translates as “Inhabitant of Nepal” and was first found as an inscription that dates back to 1654.


  • Region is Southern Asia

  • Climate here is Mild



Historically, the Newari were merchants, treading mountainous trade routes that took them and their wares to the likes of Tibet and India. They were also known as jewelry makers and shopkeepers. Today, most Newar people are making a living in modern industry, business and service. Their bustling culture flourishes throughout the Kathmandu Valley.


Newari architecture brings to life a combination of fine brickwork and delicate wood carving. Their brick houses span several floors.


Social Structure

The Newar are split into a number of individual clans. The clans were originally divided based on their historical occupations, from merchants to farmers.


Most of the Newar community practices both Buddhism and Hinduism.


The traditional Newari outfits are a stunning combination of colour and elegance, made up of various pieces. For men, these include haku tapuli (black cap) dhakatapuli (daka cap) suruwā (trousers), and tappalan (long shirts) while women will wear hakupatashi or chirepatashi (saris), and gaa (long shawls). There is also a traditional long gown worn by young girls known as a bhāntānlan.


Known as Nepal Bhasa, their language is classified as a Sinto-Tibetan language. Most of the words and grammar, however, come from southern Indo-Aryan languages like Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Maithali.


The Newari are famed for their literary traditions of prose, poetry and drama. But music and dance are also an incredibly important part of their culture. They practice various types of dancing, such as the sacred mask dance, other religious dancing , meditation dancing and folk dance. Their traditional music meanwhile, can be sacred, seasonal, folk or ballad.

Their traditional art is often linked to their religion. You may find stone sculptures and wooden carvings of Buddhist and Hindu deities.


There are a whole host of Newar celebrations throughout the year.

Mohani: This is one of the biggest celebrations in the Newar Calendar, made up of days of feasts, religious rituals and processions.

Sā Pāru: During this ceremony, people who have lost a family member in the past year will parade through their town, dressed up as cows or saints.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

Unbelievably, there are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu Valley. Alongside these are 2,500 temples and shrines where you can witness the aesthetic beauty crafted by talented Newar artisans.

Village in Nepal

Newari old man Nepal

Nepali men sitting

Nepali woman spinning the wool

Nepali woman carrying a basket

Sunset in Nepal