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Occidental College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change


The Thakali people of lower Mustang have a long history of economic success fostered through community systems that function due to cooperation, but are also characterized by competition. One of these traditional systems is dhikur , a system of rotating credit composed of approximately twenty members. This study examines the roles of traditional savings and credit institutions within communities in lower Mustang in the context of the emergence of private financial institutions in Jomsom over the last ten years. My research displayed the strength of these community based organizations in the face of a private financial sector where organizational requirements make access unattainable for many of Mustang’s residents. Research was conducted through semistructured interviews in Jomsom, Tukuche, Larjung and Marpha to gain a varied understanding of how financial groups have evolved across communities, in different contexts. The change and continuity that exists within traditional organizations, like dhikur , is indicative of both the adaptation and preservation of social, cultural and economic norms in Thakali culture.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Finance and Financial Management | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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