These are people of Tibetan origin. They migrated to Sikkim perhaps somewhere after the fifteenth century through Bhutan. They are evenly distributed throughout the state of Sikkim. In Northern Sikkim, where they are the major inhabitants, they are known as the Lachenpas and Lachungpas. The Lachenpas and the Lachungpas who mainly inhabit the areas around Lachen and Lachung respectively have their own traditional legal system known as Zamsa to settle disputes. Zamsa means public meeting place and the village headman, who is also known as the Pipon metes out justice and is chosen once in a year by the villagers voting by the show of hands. The Pipon takes all decisions regarding the village life like when the crops should be harvested. The Bhutia aristrocrats are known as the Kazis. The language spoken by the Bhutias is Sikkimese which is in fact a dialect of Tibetan language. The script is the same. Bhutias constitute about ten percent of the total population of Sikkim. Bhutia villages are large as those compared to those of Lepchas.
Marriage in a Bhutia family is arranged through negotiations by the paternal or maternal uncle of the boy who goes to the bride’s place with gifts to ask for the hand in marriage for his nephew.
The traditional dress of the male member is known as the Bakhu which is a loose cloak type garment with full sleeves and is fastened at the neck on one side and near the waist with a cotton belt. They wear loose trousers. The ladies dress consists of a silken Honju which is a full sleeve blouse and a loose gown type garment fastened near the waist tightly with a belt. In the front portion they tie a loose sheet of multi coloured woollen cloth made of special design. This is called Pangdin and is a symbol of a married woman. Ladies are fond of very heavy jewellery made of pure gold.