Limboos in Sikkim


Limboos were living in Sikkim from time immemorial. Most people think that the Limboos lived in Limbuwan in olden times and that Limbuwan falls entirely in Nepal. But the truth is that Limbuwan included parts of Sikkim (that included Darjeeling). It should be noted that the boundaries of olden kingdoms were very fluid. Sikkim once had boundaries up to Arun and Dudh Kosi rivers, now in Nepal (J.R. Subba, "History, Culture and Customs of Sikkim", 2008). People also tend to believe that the original inhabitants of Sikkim are only the Lepchas and the Bhutias. But the truth is that the Limboos are also true sons of the soil of Sikkim. Dr. Richard Keith Sprigg, the famous linguist who lived in Kalimpong for many years, says, "The Limboos were living in Sikkim before there was a Sikkim for them to live in!" Below is one proof to support this fact. 


Lho-Mon-Tsong Sum

Lho - Bhutia; Mon - Lepcha; Tsong - Limboo; Sum - treaty 

The treaty says: "Henceforth in according to the command of his majesty, the humble ministers of Lho, Mon and Tsong have met here with the desire for unification and solidarity and hereby make the statement that there shall not be separate governments of Lho, Mon or Tsong." 

This treaty was signed during the reign of Phuntsog Namgyal, the first Chogyal (king) of Sikkim (1642-1670). 

There were 24 signatories to this treaty, many of whom represented a region, including Thar Thim, the Lepcha leader of Barphung; Tsong Subba, Limbu leader of Namphang; Tenchos, Lho pa leader of Lingdam; Tapa Agod, Limbu leader of Rathang; Thapa Shupang, Limbu leader of Rimbi; and Dechen Namgyal, Lho pa leader of Tritong.

Te-ongsi Sirijunga Sin Thebe - A Limbu scholar of West Sikkim of the 18th century