The interaction of Buddhism and Hinduism makes the art of the Kathmandu Valley a powerful fusion of ideas, mythologies, and symbolic depictions. The Newar community is particularly well-known for its blending of Hindu and Buddhist ideas. For example, the Newars adopted the Hindu caste system during the Malla period, which gave rise to a Vajracharya family priest tradition. Newar religion therefore was past down through family lineages without the need of a monastic tradition. These priests perform the necessary daily rites for the Newar community.
Buddhism has existed within the Kathmandu Valley for more than two thousand years. Traditionally the religion of the Newar people, the Buddhist community of the valley is also composed of ethnic groups from other regions of Nepal such as Sherpas, Tamangs, and Tibetans. As the original inhabitants of the valley, the Newars have imparted a rich history to the region, complete with distinct mythologies and accompanying imagery.