Kami (caste)

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Kami (Nepali: कामी) is a community in Nepal, Darjeeling, Sikkim that belongs to ethno-linguistic Indo-Aryan Nepali speaking group. Kamis are essentially blacksmiths and goldsmiths and are scattered across almost all hilly districts of Nepal, districts of Sikkim, Darjeeling (a District of W.B), and Assam; some have settled in other parts of India as well. They are also known as Vishwakarma or Bishwakarma.

The Kami are traditionally held to be the descendants of God or Lord Vishwakarma, they are one sub-caste from other Vishwakarma sub-caste like Sunar, Sarki, Damai etc. The word kami may derive from the Sanskrit word karma or kam, meaning "work". The Kami make the famous Khukuri knives used by the Gurkha Army, and a traditional Nepali drum called a Madal, they are also expert performers of the traditional folk dance Maruni Nritya.

According to the 2001 Nepal census, there were a total of 895,954 Kami in the country, of whom 96.69% were Hindus and 2.21% were Buddhists.

Notable Kamis[edit]