Articles by alphabetic order
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 Ā Ī Ñ Ś Ū Ö Ō
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0


THE LOCAL ORAL TRADITION ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF THIN GARAB DZONG

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Oral Tradition)
Jump to navigation Jump to search





Michael Vinding

Copenhagen



Introduction

David Jackson, in his “Notes on the History of Se-rub and Nearby Places in the Upper Kali Gandaki” in this issue of Kailash, (page 195), throws light on the importance of Thin Garab Dzong, now a ruin on a hill-top half a mile southeast qI Thini, but once important in the ancient Kingdom of Se-rib in the present Mustang District of Nepal.

1 His study is based primarily on textual material coming from . outside the area itself due to the unavailability of local texts.

2 During my stays in Thak Khola I have collected a few notes on the local, oral tradition about the kingdom of Thin Garab Dzong. They are published here with the hope that they can serve as a supplement to David Jackson’s article. 182 I Kailash


Anthropologists should not neglect the local, oral tradition of the people they study. The value of the oral tradition for historical studies is obvious in societies without a literary tradition, but the oral tradition is also valuable in societies with a literary tradition. In literary societies the oral tradition will be influenced to a lesser or

greater degree by the literary tradition. The oral tradition can contain information which is not found in the textual material. More common, however, is the case in which the oral tradition becomes more or less a re-telling of the textual material. In this case a comparative study of the two traditions should be done in order to find out what the people who created the oral tradition found to be the most important .parts of the textual material. Thus the life histories of Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa should not only be translated from the texts but should also be collected as retold by illiterate peasants and nomads.


With such comparisons we enter areas other than the historical in which the anthropologist can find the oral tradition useful. As Nancy Levine notes in her study of a [[Nyinba clan] legend:


Aside from the genealogical material which such stories present, they also offer insight into Nyinba beliefs about the nature of their descent system, the significance of clanship in their society and the former relationship which existed between masters and their slaves. They provide detail about local religious belief, marital customs and myriad other features of daily life. Perhaps most importantly, they offer information about the nature of the relationship between descent groups and territorial units, such as villages and village section^. In addition to their evident importance as items of local folklore, they also serve as keys to the elucidation of Nyinba ideology and social structure.


The local, oral tradition is for the local people more than their history in a restricted sense. Believed to have been handed down from the time of the ancestors the oral tradition serves to legitimate rights and duties of groups of people, between groups of people, and between groups of people and their gods. It creates and supports a static world.


Thin Garab Dzong

The myth of the Syopen Lawa festival, which was originally celebrated by the Tamhaang of the present Kobang and Tukuche Village Panchayat, tells how the ancestors of the Tamhaang promised the goddess Nari Jhyowa that thirteen virgin boys would dance before her every year. About a decade ago, as a part of their social reforms to cut unnecessary expenditures, the Tamhaang stopped the Syopen Lawa festival during which the dance before the goddess was performed. It is said that the goddess got angry when the dance stopped and killed some yaks and one herdsman. All of this she recounted to a local “lama” in a dream. After hearing this the Tamhaang decided to reintroduce Syopen Lawa and especially the dance, but in a lesser and more inexpensive way.


The oral tradition can also serve to legitimate a past change and the world created by that change. Thus we hear in the following story how badly the last [[king of Thini] treated his people and how they killed him. The myth not only legitimates the killing of the king but especially the transformation from one political system to another.


Finally I shall note that the oral tradition directly or indirectly gives people good advice about life, similar to the advice found in the so-called folk tales. The moral is: do not steal, do not lie, do not be greedy, do not be proud, etc. Thus we { hear in the following story how a king gets killed because he is foolish, how a village gets destroyed because the villagers acted badly, and how a son gets honoured because he exposed a plot against his father. Very popular among the Tamhaang is the story about the eighteen grandfathers of Tulachan, how they neglected a warning from on old woman who had bad dreams, how they boasted, “Who can harm us ? Whom do we fear ?”, and how they then got killed.


1841 Kailash


The Oral Tradition

Gyal-tang-po-chen and Gyal-punari

Gyal-tang-po-chen came a long, long time ago to Thini from Kham-sungl in Tibet. He came along the way through Lo. Gyal-tang-po-chen had a third eye with which he could destory everything when he opened that eye. 11


Gyal-punari, the king of the water, was at that time the king of Thini J 2 When he heard that Gyal-tang-po-chen with his third eye was on his way to Thini then he flew to Omang.

Gyal-tang-po-chen settled in Thini. 14 But Gyal-punari, as the king of water, stopped all the water to Thini.


Gyal-tang—po-chen stood one morning on the roof of his house looking at


Thin Garab Dzong /185 the mountainside and wondered why the water did not come. Suddenly he saw smoke at the forest side, and therefore sent his army to the forest to find out about the smoke. The army went to the forest and saw there an old man sweating near the fireplace, eating porridge of bitter buckwheat with a vegetable soup and chilli. The army returned and reported to their king: “An old man is eating the rice of gold with a soup of turquoise, and also eating the red sun. He is weeping.”


Gyal-tang-po-chen decided to send his army to the forest side to find out why the old man was crying. Therefore the army went to the old man and asked him why he was crying. The old man told the army that he was sweating, not crying. 16 He also told the army that it was he who had stopped the water to Thini because he had been driven away from his home,, but he promised to let the water run again, if Gyal-tang-po-chen would give him “a handful of the soil, and a mirror of the sky.”

Gyal-tang-po-chen decided to make an agreement with Gyal-punari, and the two kings did therefore make an agreement. Gyal-tang-po-chen should continue as the king of Thini, but Gyal-punari should also stay there and should get whatever he wanted. Now it happened that at the time of the agreement both their wives were pregnant, so the kings agreed to become affines if possible. 18 Gyal-tang-po-chen


15 This sentence and the following quoted ones are remembered word for word by some of my informants. The phraserice of gold and soup of turquoise” for (bitter) buckwheat porridge and nettle soup is also found in “Chyoki Rhab”, cf. Gauchan and Vinding (1977), p, 115. if It is well known that people sweat when they eat much chilli.


17 The handful of soil refers to land enough for a house, while the mirror of the sky refers to that small part of the sky which can be seen through the hole in the roof where the smoke goes out. My informants use the word “mu” for sky. David Jackson (personal communication) notes that the form mu for sky is ex- extremely archaic for most Tibetans, but is found in some border dialects.


18 Gyal-tang-po-chen got a son and Gyal-punari a daughter. They married each other. In Thini, the members of Ghelki phobe, that is all those persons who claim to descend patrilineally from Gyal-tang-po-chen, would formerly, once a year in memory of that marriage, bow down in respect to the members of Jisin phobe, i. e. all those persons who claim to descend patrilineally from Gyal-punari, just as the wife-takers have to do to the wife-givers among the Thakaali. It should be noted that this status relationship between Ghelki phobe and Jisin phobe in Thini is not permanent in a prescribed matrilateral cross-cousin marriage system. The Thakaali marriage system is a non-prescribed, bilateral cross-cousin marriage system without permanent status relations between clans. In short, a man must show respect to all the patrilineal relatives of his wife; and all the men who have received a woman patrilineally related to him have to show him respect. The respect depends on the distance of the relation­ship. However, a person need not show formal respect to the wife-givers of his male patrilineal relatives. The rights and obligations created by a Thakaali marriage are thus not so much between two patrilineal groups or units as such, said, when they had reached this agreement, “Our promise shall not break as long as the river does not turn back, and as long as the crow does not turn white”.


The sons of Gyal-tang-po-chen

Gyal-tang-po-chen had no sons. Therefore he prayed to the gods to give him a son. The gods gave him a son, so Gyal-tang-po-chen decided to name his first son Lha-sum-pal because he came as the wish of the gods.20 Gyal-tang-po-chen wanted another son and wished very much from his heart. He got a second son and named him Dha-sum-pal, because he came after a wish from his heart.21 Gyal-tang-po-chen was then very happy, and wished for a third son. He got a third son and named him Ki-sum-pal, because he came after a wish in happiness.22 Gyal-tang-po-chen also got a fourth son named Sya-sum-pal.23 He was an illegitimate son and therefore had to live near Om Kyu below Thini.24 but between patrilineal groups and units in the role of wife-giver, and single men role of wife-takers. This will be discussed in more detail in my work on Thakali kinship and marriage.


19 A similar oath is found in “Bhurki Rhab”, see Gauchan and Vinding (1977), p. 162. David Jackson (personal communication) notes that the oath is also found in the newest version of the Thini ‘bem chag.


20 Lha-sum-pal is the ancestor of the patrilineal descent group Chyuku phobe which is a branch of Ghelki phobe. My informants state that Lha-sum-pal means “wishing through/from the gods”. David Jackson (personal communica­tion) notes that Lha-sum-pal according to the newest version of the Thini ‘bem chag is named “lha gsum dpal’’, which can be loosely translated as “glory of the three gods”. Dpal is the equivalent of Sri in Sanskrit.


21 Dha-sum-pal is the ancestor of the patrilineal descent group Gyabchan phobe which is a branch of Ghelki phobe. My informants state that Dha-sum-pal means “wishing through/from the heart”. David Jackson (Personal communica­tion) notes that Dha-sum-pal, according to the newest version of the Thini ‘bem chag is named “dramn gsum dapal”, i. e. “glory of the three memories”.


22 Ki-sum-pal is the ancestor of the patrilineal descent grouppal phobe which is a branch of Ghelki phobe. Ki-sum-pal had, according to my informants, three sons: Su-sin, who is the ancestor of the present lha sang dorche lineage of Pal phobe; Lha-pal, who is the ancestor of the present pai sonte lineage of Pal phobe; and Lha-sang-sarki whose descendants have died out. According to my infor­mants, Ki-sum-pal means “wishing through/from happiness.” David Jackson (personal communication) notes that ki-sum-pal, according to the newest version of the Thini ‘bem chag, is named skyid gsum dpal, i. e. “glory to the three happi­nesses.”


23 Sya-sum-pal is also known as Son-cho-pal. He is the ancestor of the patrilineal descent group Dhinchan phobe which is a branch of Ghelki phobe and only found in Chimang.


. 24 Some of my informants from Dhilchan phobe state Sya-sum-pal was not an illegitimate child (Th. nyelu).Once this fourth son saved his father’s life. Some people of Thini had decided to kill Gyal-tang-po-chen and the other members of the Ghelki phobe. They planned to present beer to [[Gyal-tang-po-chen] and the other members of the Ghelki phobe. But Sya-sum-pal came to know about this and warned his father. Gyal-tang-po- chen became very happy and said, “We shall not hate the man who brings us good news”. Then Gyal-tang-po-chen sent Sya-sum-pal to the south to establish a border post at Chimang.


Sarti, Barti, and Namti Lama

Gyal-tang-po-chen came from the north together with his personal chheni^ named Namti Lama.27 Namti Lama was the master of the rain. He settled in Thini. At that time there were two brothers in Thini named Sarti Lama and Barti Lama.29 They were the sons of Sra-laang-ghum.30 Sarti Lama was the master of the soil. Barti Lama was the master of natural disasters.


25 Some of my informants state that Sya-sum-pal established Chimang village; others say that there were people at Chimang when Sya-sumpal was sent there. Today besides members of Chinchan phobe there are only found members of the sub-unit of Kya phobe known as Bharti phobe (see note 29). Kya phobe is the patrilineal unit from which the religious specialists known as aya-lama are clusively recruited. (See note 30.) Kya phobe was invited to Chimang by the first settlers of Dhimchan phobe, because the latter needed the former to look after their religious ceremonies and sick people.


26 Cheni refers to a religious specialist who performs the religious ceremonies of a special client group, for example, a family or patrilineal descent group.


27 Namti Lama is the ancestor of Namti phobe of Kya phobe. There is at present (1978) only one male member of Namti phobe left. He has no sons, so Namti phobe may die out.


28 Sarti Lama is the ancestor of Sarti phobe of Kya phobe. arte phobe is extinct.


29 Barti Lama is the ancestor of Barti phobe, which at present can be found in Thini and Chimang, but not in Syhyaang.


30 Sra-laang-ghum, the father of Sarti Lama and Barti Lama is, according to my informants, identical with Nhaaraa Bhunjyung (cf Tib., [Na-ro bon chaung]]), a religious specialist of the so-called Bon religions who failed to defeat Mi-la ras-pa (Tib.; A. D. 1040-1123), when they contested their spiritual power at Mtsho- Mapham and Gangs Ti-se. See Gauchan and Vinding (1977), p. 138. The original religious specialist among the Yhulgasummi is the aya-lamp, who is recruited exclusively from Kya phobe, and who claims to follow the line of Nhaaraa Bhun­jyung. The aya-lama is closely related to the dhom of the Tamhaang, and the pheyu of the Gurung. These religious specialists do not enter into trance, and therefore cannot be classified as shamans. It should be investigated whether there is a connection between the aya-lama and the religious specialists of the so- called Dur-Bon, which was introduced into the Year-lung dynasty under King Gri-gum-btsan or sPu-de-gun-rgyal. See Erik Haarh, The Yarlung Dynasty (Copenhagen, 1969), p. 99-125.188 I Kailash t

The work of the three lamas was complementary, so they started to discuss among themselves whose work was the most important. Sarti Lama said that without his work there would be no good soil and therefore no crops, no matter how much the two other used their power. Barti Lama said that without his work there would come natural disasters and therefore no crops, no matter how much the two others used their power. And Namti Lama said that without his work there would be no rain and therefore no crops no matter how much the two others used their power.


In this way they discussed for a long time. Finally when they could not reach an agreement they started to fight among themselves. Sarti Lama only took care of the soil in his own fields. Barti Lama only prevented the natural disasters from his own fields, and Namti Lama only sent rain to his own fields. The crops in the other fields failed and the villagers became unhappy. Barti Lama tried to stop the dispute, but the two others wanted to continue.31


Bom-phobe-khe

Bom-phobe-khe was a high lama who came to Thini from Tibet. He settled outside Thini at the present Chang-pie chorten^ and there did his religious practices.

Gyal-tang-po-chen was one day looking towards the north from his house when suddenly he saw smoke. He ordered his army to go towards the north and find out where the smoke came from. The army went towards the north and came to Bom phobe-khe, whom they saw during one of his religious practices. Then the army retur­ned and told Gyal-tang-pochen that they had seen a very high lama. The king told his army to go to the lama and ask him if he was able to cure sickness. Bom-phobe- khe told the army that he could.


After Gyal-tang-po-chen had heard this he planned to test,the lama. Therefore he tied a piece of wood to a very long rope and threw the wood into the fire. Then he told his army to see the lama and tell him that their king was sick and would not be able to come, but that the rope was tied to the wrist of the king. The army went to Bom-phobe-khe, who agreed to feel the pulse of the king via the rope.34 After a while Bom-phobe-khe told the army that their king was extremely hot.


31 Therefore, state my informants, the descendants of Sarti Lama have died out, and the descendants of Namti Lama are in danger of doing so, while the descen­dants of Barti Lama are numerous.


32 Bom-phobe-ke is the ancestor of Bom phobe, which is found in Thini and Jomsom.


33 The Chang Pie chorten is situated a little northeast of the present Thini. A chorten (cf. Tib. mehod-rteri) is a reliquary and memorial monument of Buddhism being the Tibetan form of the Indian caitya or stupa.


34 Medical specialists of the Tibetan culture area usually feel the pulses of sick people in order to determine the sickness and especially the cause of the sickness.Gyal-tang-po-chen became very surprised when he heard the answer. But again he would try the ability of the lama. Therefore a few days later he tied a big stone to the rope and threw the stone into the cold river. The army again consulted the lama, .who after having felt the rope told them that their king was now extremely cold,

Gyal-tang-po-chen now realized that Bom-phobe-khe was a great lama and therefore wanted him to settle in Thini. Bom-phobe-khe, however, did not immediately accept the invitation, but threw some barley grains (Th. karu) into the air and said that if this was a good place to settle then in three days there should come forth some small plants of barley (Th. chang pie). They did come forth, and the place therefore became known as “Chang-pie”. Afterwards Bom-phobe-kh became a member of the village, was included in the marriage system and became the keawa.35 When he died the villagers made a big chorten at Chang-pie where he was burned. 36 That chorten is therefore known as Chang-pie chorten.


The end of the kings of Thini: Version One

Once there was a very big tree high up in the mountains in the eastern direction which stopped the rays of the morning sun. 37 Gyal tang-po-chen wanted the rays from the morning sun and therefore ordered his people to cut down the tree. The people went high up in the mountain and finally managed to cut the tree down. But they became extremely cold, and in a fit of anger, decided therefore to kill. Gyal-tang-po-chen. They told Gyal-tang-po-chen to come up and see the tree, because they needed his advice on how to cut the tree into pieces. The king came and saw the tree. By cunning the people got Gyal-tang-po-chen to place his fingers in a crack in the tree which was held apart with small stop blocks. When the king had his fingers in the crack the people removed the stop blocks, and the king could not move. Then the people rolled the tree with Gyal-tang-cherfover, and the king died in this way.38 Since that time there have been no kings in Thini.


35 Keawa refers to a special religious “post” in Thini. The kaewa is said to have been the personal astrologer of the king of Thini. There is only one kaewa, and he is always recruited from Bom phobe. Usually the son of the kaewa succeeds his father. I have copied a list giving the names of thirteen men in the line of kaewas. '


36 The deceased kaewas are still burned near the same chorten.


37 The tree should have been situated east of Thini near Meso Khantu pass.


38 In the “salki Rhab” we hear that the eighteen grandfathers of Dhocho were killed in the same way; see Gauchan and Vinding (1977), p. 125. It is interesting to note that informants from Mhaarpha state that the villagers of Mhaarpha a long long time ago revolted against and killed a foolish headman who had traded some of the village land to Shyaang for a beautiful coat.Kailash


The end of the kings of Thini: Version Two

In the eastern direction there was a mountain top which stopped the rays of the morning sun. Gyal-tang-po-chen ordered his people to go up in the mountains and cut off the mountain top because he wanted the rays of the morning sun. The people feared Gyal-tang-po-chen very much and therefore started the work. But the people became very angry with the king, because they soon realized how impossible their task was. One old grandmother decided to kill Gyal-tang-po-chen so that the suffering of the people would come to an end. She made a plan, and told it to the men. Every morning Gyal-tang-po-chen used to stand near a big cliff at Garb Dzong to say good-bye to the people going to the mountain to work. The old grandmother would come there with her little grandchild. Suddenly she would rock the child and when the king looked at her the men would push the king down from the cliff. And so it happened according to the plan, and Gyal-tang-po-chen died. Since that time there have been no kings in Thini.


The Jewel Cat

Once a long, long time ago the people of the vilages around Thini39 possessed a magical cat named “The Jewel Cat”. Wherever it stayed it brought prosperity to the 39 We shall see below that the former villages Gungle and Dho-thaang had Gurung populations. My most learned informants say that the original people of the Thini area were Thin mhaakdu, which they translate as “the foundations of Thin” The six Thin are according to one of my informants: 1) Laanglung Thin, who are supposed to have lived

at Laanglung-thang, a small plateau above the present airfield in the northeastern corner of the territory of Shyaang village. Traces of houses can be found a at Laanglung-thang. One version of “The Jewel Cat” story mentions that the cat died at Laanglung-thang, but later was placed in Dho-thang, and that Laanglung thang therefore was destroyed by

an earthquake. The survivers settled members of the patrilineal descent groups Syantan phobe, Pasin phobe, and San phobe came from Laanglung-thang, while the members of the patrilineal descent group Saka phobe and the patrilineal descent unit Jisim and Che phobe came from Thini or Garab Dzong. 2) Mha-thaang Thin, whom the informant says are'the present people of Thini. 3) Chaki Thin, whom the informant says are the members of Bom phobe of Thini and Jomsom. 4) Om Thin, whom,according to my informant, the people of


Phalak claim to be. I have been told by other informants that the people of Phalak originally came from the Manang side of Thini via Tilichhe and from there went to their present village, that their language was originally similar to that spoken in Thini today (now the language of Phalak is closer to the Tibetan dialect spoken in Kagbeni), and that the people of Phalak together with the people of Khyenkhu among the villages of Kagbeni and Muktinath Panchayats have a relatively low social status.- 5) Dho Thin, whom the informant identifies as the villagers of Dho-thang. See Note 4.


6) Srane Thin, whom my informant cannot identify. It should be stressed that other informants can only give some of the names, and that I have heard Gungle Thin of Gungle (see note 41) mentioned as one of the six Thin mhaakdu. people of that village. The villages therefore made an agreement among themselves that The Jewel Cat should stay for a certain period in each village by turn. Should it happen, however, that the Jewel Cat died in one of the villages, then the people of that particiular village would have to pay one paisa for each hair on the body of The Jewel Cat as a fine.


Now it happened that The Jewel Cat died while it was living at Dho-Thang40. The people of Dho-thang became very afraid, because they knew of the fine. One man from Dho-thang therefore took the dead cat and place it secretly one night in Gungle.


Soon afterwards all the other villages came to know that The Jewel Cat had died at Gungle. The people of Gungle had to pay the fine and agreed to do so even though they knew that The Jewel Cat had not died in their village. So they agreed to one paisa for each of the hairs on the body of the The Jewel Cat, but were finally able to pay for only the hairs on one of the Jewel Cat’s ears. In anger the people of Gungle made an oath. They said that in three days the village where The Jewel Cat had died should be destroyed and all its people killed. Three days later an earthquake struck Dho-thang and destroyed the village killing most of the villagers. But the people of Gungle felt sad and a little guilty. They decided therefore not to stay any longer in the valley, and migrated to Ghandrung42 where their descendants can still be found. Also those people of Cho-thang who had survived the earthquake settled in Ghandrung.


The history of Mhaawa

The ancestor and ancestress of the Mhaawatan, the people of Mhaawa, were Sheli Raja and Mon-narchya-komo respectively.43 Sheli Raja was a brother of 40 Dho-thang is situated in the eastern corner of Jomsom village in front of the present high school. Ruins can still be seen there.


41 Gungle is situated a little above the first tributary of the Kali Gandaki when walking on the southerastern side of the river from Jomsom to Kagbeni. Traces of a village can still be found there according to informants.


42 Ghandrung is a large Gurung village situated northeast of Pokhara. Don Messerschmidt has written severaLarticles on the Gurungs of that area. One of my informants mentions that many years ago an old Gurung woman died at Ghandrung. Before she died she said that her ancestors had come from Dho- thang and that a big pot with gold coins could be found there. Many Gurungs and Thakaalis are said to have tried without success to find the pot.


43 According to one informant Shdi Raja and Mon-narchya-komo are not men­tioned in any written sources. They are, however, mentioned in old, traditional songs.1921


Hansa Raja 4. They had come to Thak Khola from Jumla.45

Once there was a conflict between the two brothers. Sheli Raja went to Dzong46 and established his village there. Hansa Raja sent his army to attack Sheli Raja. At that time the people of Dzong were busy threshing the six-rowed barley. The army of Hansa Raja saw the people from a distance and thought that they were all soldiers practising warfare. They saw the kar kyung^l and the sticks with the small flags48 and thought that they were war-ready soldiers. The army of Hansa Raja therefore became very afraid and fled away to Jumla.


Sheli Raja had a daughter named Jhomo,49 who was given in marriage to one Of the sons of Gyal-tang-mi-chen of Sumbo Garab Dzong.50 Sheli Raja gave a very big dowry including one full basket of gold.


Jhomo and the son of Gyal-tang-mi-chen had only one daughter. She was given in marriage to a prince of Jumla, because Gyal-tang-mi-chen and the father of the prince of Jumla were good friends. Gyal-tang-mi-chen gave a very big dowry to his son’s daughter, including one full pathi of gold, one full pathi of silver and also twenty-one soldiers for her protection.


44 Hansa Raja is the famous (but legendary?) king or prince who came from Jumla to Thak Khola and from whom many of the Thakaali claim descent. See Gauchan and Vinding (1977). A few new items can be added here. Pumpar quakpa, “The line of the king”, is a sub-clan of Sherchan and found only in Chhero. Sonam- pumpar is the ancestor, and his story is similar to that of Hansa Raja. He came from Sinjaa near present Jumla to Thak Khola where he married Nhima Rani, a princess from Thini. The king of Thini gave as a dowry all the land from Tea- kyu (near Dumphaa-kyu) in the north, to the Lhaki forest at the foot of the plateau of Chimang in the south. Sonam-pumpar and its descendants had however to pay tax to Thini. My informant adds that the king of Thini also gave as a dowry the gooddess Lha Chhuring Gyalmo. That goddess is described in Gauchan and Vinding (1977), p. 112. Lha Chhuring Gyalmo is said to have an elder sister named Tho-rimpoche who still can be found in Thini.


45 According to this information Mhawatan descend from some Jumla people. There are, however, more informants from Mhaarpha who state that they descend from the people of Garab Dzong.


46 Dzong, also known as Tamang, is a relatively big plateau north of the present Mhaarpha. There are more house there which belong to different patrilineal descent groups.


47 According to my informant kar-kyung is the Mhaawatan word for chan (Th.) which is a white stone structure on the roof aind believed to be the place where the protecting god of the house resides.


48 Small wooden sticks with small pieces of coloured cloth are placed in the chan.


49 Jhomo (cf. Tib., jomo) is usually used as a term of address for nuns.


50 Sumbo is the Tibetan name for Thini. My informants do not know which one of the sons Jhomo was given in marriage to. Again information which confirms what many different Thakaali have told me, namely, that the present three endogamousThe people of Thaksatsae started to make trouble when Gyal-tang-mi-chen passed away. In order to settle the border trouble seven men of Thini, seven men of Mharpha and seven men of Thaksatsae met near the present border.51 The men of Thaksatsae were under the supervision of Ngima Rani. The first round of negotiations failed, but an agreement was reached during a second round of negotiations.52 Thakaali groups formerly could marry each other.


51 The present border between Yhulnghaa and Thaksatsae is disputed. It should be stressed that the map in Gauchan and Vinding (1977) which gives the border between Thaksatsae (on the map named Thasaang) and Yhulnghaa at Dhon-kyu is based on and represents the views of the people of Thaksatsae. However, the people of Yhulnghaa, that is, Mhaawatan and Yhulgasummi, strongly deny that Dhon-kyu is the border and claim that the border is further south approximately opposite Mhaarshyaang-kyu at a place named Dhocho Khang. I apologize to the people of Yhulnghaa that their view concerning the disputed was not represented in my former paper and stress that all boundaries mentioned in this paper are approximate and thus not authoritative.


52 Some informants from Mharpha mention that there exist documents of border agreements from A. D. 1623 (=1680 B. S.) and A. D. 1854 (= 1911 B. S.).




Source