Date: Fire Rat year, 3rd month, 17th day, Monday (1816)
Lines: 15
Script: ’khyug

A covenant among the five Shöyul dealing with various issues: 1. coordination among the five Shöyul in the event of external aggression, and guidelines for conduct in the event of confrontation; 2. proper conduct of community leaders in the event of external aggression; 3. injunction to observe secrecy with regard to all internal affairs; 3. injunction to keep the common interest of the five communities priority in dealings with neighbouring communities.

1. § mi byi hlo (hor zla) 3 pa’i tshes 17 re za zla ba la | yul kha lnga po[’i] [±2S] [cho]d tshig bris don la | rgan pa mi ngo lnga yi skor nas sngon bsrol nar rtar

2. mchod tshig byed pa | stod nas phyi dra | nang nas smad dra | gang rtar ’byung na yuang | yul kha lnga po grong pa yul gang dra thaṃd (thams cad) gcig chong | gnyis chong

3. man pa | khyod stod shos | khyod tshugs shos | khyod bsteng yod shos | khyod [tsang li] shos | khyod gya ga shos bzer ba med | sgal srid zer ba yul nas ’byung na

4. bha dngul 100 | grong pa nas kram na bha dngul 23 yin {yin} | ’dzin mi gyur ba rgan pa | bstod padma ’dzin | btsang le {1S}bzango (bzang po) | gya ga dpaldn (dpal ldan) | tshugs

5. ghu ru bkris (bkra shis) | sted yed ’dzṃlng (’dzam gling) yod pa rgan pa lags skor gyi rtags |

6. § mi pho byi lo hlo (hor zla) 3 pa’i tshe 17 re za zla pha la | yul kha lnga po’i mchod tshigs byed pa la | spyan btsugs mi ngo lnga’i skor nas chod tshigs

7. ’bris pa la stod nas phyi ’dra | smad nas nang ’dra gang ’dra [’byung?] kyang | rgan pa dun du btsugs rgyab du | mi mang phyi skor nang skor byas nas

8. cig chong gnyis chong man pa | nga bsted pa’i bcan tshug mi shes | nga btsang le bcan btsugs mi shes | nga gya ga bcan tsugs mi shes

9. nga tshugs bcan tshug mi shes | nga bsteng yed bcan tshugs mi shes | bzer ba med pa | rgan pa na ma rim bzhin gyi | bcan tshugs la lag rtaṃ

10. mi mang pho thogs mo thogs | thaṃd (thams cad) rgan pa la | mi mang lag rkor 1S rtags | de rta bu la ka dros ’chaṃ nas | phyi rtam nang du man pa | nang rtam

11. pyhi ru kyol yod daṃ bzer nas sna rgyal hor zla 3 pa’i tshe 10 byed rgyu yin | mi mang lags skor gyi rtags |

12. § mi pho byi lo hlo (hor zla) 3 pa’i tshes 17 la | yigi (yi gi) ’bris don la | sngon khrol nang rtar gyis kha gcig ce 2 byed nas | yul ka lnga po’i rgan pa skags du gsu ’dzom kyang |

13. kha 1 | ce 2 byas nas lab sa med rgal | rgan pa can btsugs yul pa thaṃd (thams cad) gsu nas [1]y[1] dugs zer ba 1 ’byung na | {1S}’drigs chad dngul 25 | d[e?] yul nas byas pa she^r (shar tshe) | ’grid tshad

14. dngul 100 phul phyogs zhus pa rgan pa mi mang lags skor rtags | yul {1S} rga lnga po gal srid bhed [kha gral] pa sher tshe | can tshugs kyang lo 1

15. rgan pa naṃ rgor nang bzhin | phyi snyom yul thaṃd (thams cad) {1} ma nag sngon sgam chung chung nang bzhin yin | de la kha 1 | ce 2 {1} byed sa med pa rgan bcan

1. me byi; re gza’; ’bri don; srol nang ltar 2. chod tshig; phyi dgra; smad dgra; gang ltar; gang ’dra; gcig mchong; gnyis mchong 3. zer sa med; gal srid 4. ’ba’ dngul; khram? na; ’ba’ dngul 5. lag skor 6. me pho byi lo; re gza’ zla ba; chod tshig byed; chod tshig 7. phyi dgra; nang dgra; bdun du btsug 8. gcig mchong gnyis mchong mana (< ma gtogs); bcan tshug: see notes below 9. zer sa med; rgan pa rnams (?) rim; lag ’tham 10. pho gtogs mo gtogs (?); de lta bu la bka’ gros; phyi gtam nang du mana (< ma gtogs); nang gtam 11. bskyal yod dam zer nas mna’ skyel; pa’i tshes; lag skor 12. yi ge ’bri; sngon srol nang ltar; gcig lce; su ’dzom 13. lce 2 byas; lab sa med {rgal}; su nas; ’dug zer; sgrig chad; bepa shar tshe | sgrig chad 14. lag skor; yul kha lnga 15. nam skor; spyi snyom; mana (< ma gtogs) sngon sgam; kha 1 | lce

Monday, the 17th day of the 3rd month in a Fire Rat year. A covenant among the five communities [of the Shöyul]. Concerning the five headmen (i.e. the fifteen or so headmen of the five communities), this covenant has been produced in accordance with past custom. Whatever kind of enemies appear, whether outside enemies from the highlands, or lowland enemies from inside [the country], all the households and communities must act as one (lit., if one jumps two jump), and none may say “You are Te Shö, you are Tshug Shöd, you are Taye Shö, you are [Tsele] Shö, you are Gyaga Shö” (i.e. we are from a different Shö and your problems are not ours). In the case of an entire village saying this, the fine (bha dngul) shall be 100 rupees. If a household behaves treacherously (?) it shall be fined 23 rupees. Those who are to be responsible for making arrests are the headmen: Pema [Ten?]zin of Te; Zangpo of Tsele; Palden of Gyaga; Guru Trashi of Tshug; Dzamling of Taye. Having passed the document from hand to hand, these headmen place their marks.

line 6
Monday, the 17th day of the 3rd month in a male Fire Rat year. A covenant among the Five Communities. This covenant has been written down concerning the the five supervisors. Whatever kind of enemies may come, whether outside enemies from the highlands, or inside enemies from the lowlands, the headmen shall be placed in front, and behind them the populace should form an inner arc and and outer arc, and acting only as one [the supervisors] may not say “I am unable to act as the supervisor of Te; I am unable to act as the supervisor of Tsele; I am unable to act as the supervisor of Gyaga; I am unable to act as the supervisor of Tshug; I am unable to act as the supervisor of Taye”. The headmen should each in turn sign the document and give it to the supervisor [in order to empower him?]. Each man and woman should hold the document in turn [in order to empower?] the headmen. Having having reached an accord they should swear an oath about whether they have borne information about the outside to the inside, or conveyed inside information to the outside. This oath shall be sworn on the tenth day of every third Hor month.

line 12
17th day of the 3rd month in a male Fire Rat year. If a headman (or whoever) goes to Kag for a meeting he shall not speak with two tongues in one mouth; if a headman, overseer or all the villagers say that they have sworn this oath there will be a fine of 25 rupees for individuals and a fine of 100 rupees for communities.
(The meaning of the remaining two lines is unclear: the sentences are unfinished and appear to have been copied in the wrong order. It seems to signify that if a village breaks away [bhes pa sher tshe] from the community of the five Shöyul then the incumbency of overseer should change at the same time as that of headman.)

The document appears to consist of copies of three separate resolutions: there are no signatures or seals, and the fact that some of the sentences in the third section (and possibly the second) appear to be in the wrong order suggests an inaccurate transcription, possibly due to damage to the original document from which the text was copied.

Line 8, bcan tshug: the term, which refers to a category of official, appears in various forms in documents from southern Mustang, but most commonly as spyan btsug: “The etymology of the term spyan btsug is uncertain; spyan is an honorific term for eye, and btsugs is the past tense of ’dzugs pa, meaning to pierce or to bore. The name is undoubtedly related to similar forms such as spyan pa, which signifies “overseer” or “steward,” and spyan bsal, denoting a personal favourite appointed to office by a ruler. An early quasi-historical work called dBa’ bzhed contains the word spyan dbang, “an obscure title which might indicate somebody in charge of the private affairs of the king” (Wangdu and Diemberger 2000: 30 n. 41). Headmen and mediators in Baragaon villages are sometimes called migtsum, Tib. mig btsum, “[Those who have their] eyes closed,” signifying that they are deeply pondering the solution of the problem in hand (Tib. mig: eye; ’dzum pa, pf. btsum: to shut)” (Demoness 364, n. 9).

Lines 9–10, rgan pa na ma rim bzhin gyi | bcan tshugs… “the headmen…the headmen”: the meaning of this passage is highly uncertain.

Line 13, ’drigs chad: (< sgrig chad?): cf. sgrig khrims kyi nyes chad, disciplinary action, disciplinary measures (Goldstein).