The Himalayas have long provided a contact zone for Hindus and diverse tribal groups. The experience of such contact in Nepal exhibits certain unique features that are rarely seen in other regions of Hindu south Asia. Interaction between these groups in Nepali had been a much more intimate affair than probably anywhere in the Indian subcontinent. Further, this information had occurred over a long time in history so that certain forms of social relationship which developed between these groups even received formal recognition in the legal code of the Nepalese state. This legal recognition refers mainly to the customs of inter-marriage between high caste Hindu males and the women of the tribal groups.