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Ranjitkar (रंजितकार aka Chhipaa or Ranjit) is one of the castes of Newar. The Newari caste system is divided according to profession. The Ranjitkar caste is concerned with the dyeing of clothes as well as other color related activities.The word "Ranjitkar" comes from Sanskrit origins crudely meaning "people concerned with colors" whereas the word "Chhipaa" is a Nepal Bhasa compound word which can be roughly translated as "color and allow to dry".


There are very little written historic documents on Ranjitkars. However, judging by the extravagant clothings that are seen in the sculptures, one can speculate that Ranjitkars or some other people were present in the Nepal during the Licchavi era by latest.The first mention of Ranjitkars in written history might have been during the declaration of the division of castes by Jayasthiti Malla.


The Ranjitkars are mixed racially. They have features resembling both Mongolians and Aryans. So, one may infer that Ranjitkars are heterogeneous groups rather that a kin or ethnically homogeneous group.


Like all Newās, Ranjitkars follow a syncretic Hindu-Buddhist religion. The priest of Ranjitkars are Bajrachharyas who are Buddhists. However, most of the rituals performed are Hindu. Recently, an emergence of Theravada Buddhism has been observed in the Ranjitkars especially amongst those in Kathmandu.


Nepal Bhasa is the native tongue of the...
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