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Shakya (Skt. Śākya; Tib. ཤཱ་ཀྱ་ , Wyl. shA kya) is the name of an ancient north Indian tribe that flourished in the southern foothills of the Himalayas near what is now the border between Nepal and India. This tribe produced the historical Buddha, called either Gautama or Shakyamuni, whose name means “Sage of the Shakya Clan.” Texts describe this clan as ruled by Kshatriyas, the military or administrative caste of the Indian social system.

At the time of the Buddha, the Shakyas were ruled by his father, King Shuddhodana. The Shakyas made Kapilavastu the capital of their region. In the time of the Buddha, the Shakyas, although they were self-governing, were subjects of the neighbouring kingdom of Kosala.