Date: Water Dragon year. 1832
Lines: 23
Script: ’khyug
Remarks: seals of the Shöyul and of the scribe

An agreement among the five Shöyul dealing with several issues: 1. coordination among the five communities in the event of external aggression; 2. confirmation of dates and protocols of general assemblies of the five Shöyul; 3. elegibility for attendance of general assemblies (heads of estates only); 4. trade restrictions on wealthy members of the enclave and outsiders.

Transliteration che zla bri ka/na tsakra ma | ’jaṃ mgon gzur phud snga pa yi phyag g.yas sheb (shes rab) ral dri di | mtshan phyir mun pa dmag {pa} ruṃ

2. snang pas yong bskad lhar rtar bdud | ma bas gsal por shar ba’i a darsha | bzhes pa chu brug lo shod yul kha lnga pa’i mchod tshigs yigi (yi gi) ’dris

3. ’don la | sngon srol pha med rtar gyis yigi (yi gi) snying pa med pa gsar pa ’dri ’don la | sngar ’khyud yang | bstod nas bstod ’dra dang

4. smad ’dra gang rtar ’byung kyang | rgan pa bcan btsugs dun du yul mi mang rgyabs du dad nas | bcig chong gnyis phyong byas nas lab stang

5. bstang rgyu yin | ’di {1}la kha shes ngo shes byas nas ’dod mi ’phyogs pa dang | ’dzom ’dus sngar khyun hlor (hor zla) gsum pa’i tshe 10 la dug | da rta

6. yang hlor (hor zla) hor zla gsum pa’i tshe 10 la ’dzom rgyu dang | ma zad mi nyan pa’i rtam yul lnga po gang ’du byung kyang da rtang ma thags du | rgan

7. spyan tsugs mu re mi ri nyi^n (nyin mtshan) gang la thugs kyang ’dzom rgyu dang | rgal srid da brtang nas | yul ma ’dzoM na grigs bcad dngul 8 dang

8. grong pa ma ’dzoṃ na dngul 1 yin | dgong brtar mchod tshigs nang brtar la kha gcigs bce gnyis byed mi phyogs pa dang | phyi rtaṃ nang du

9. ’dus rgyu man pa | nang rtaṃ phyi la kyal yod daṃ zer nas | lo re hlor (hor zla) gsuṃ pa’i ’dzoṃ ’dus la | mi mang sna bkyal byed rgyu dang (seal) bstang

10. yed yul pa spyi snyugs sgo lags bkor gyis rt[ags] (seal) | tshugs yul pa spyi lags bkor gyis brtags (seal, seal) rgya ga yul spyi bkor rtags (seal)

11. btsang le yul pa spyi lags bkor rtags (seal) § bsted yul pa spyi lags bkor gyis [rtags] (seal, seal) | ’dzom dus grong pa’i

12. bdag spo man spa | ’tshab la bu tsha dad nas a kyis bstang rgyu | a ba dad nas bu tsha ’dzom rgyu mi yong pa dang

13. rgal srid tshab ’dzom na | nye chad dngul 2 yin | spyi lags bkor brtags | don tshigs ’di yi cha spang yigi (yi gi) | blaṃ (bla ma) ’jaṃ

14. dbyang dbang ’dus the rt[ags] (seal)

15. § chu ’brug zla 9 pa’i tshe bzang la | mchod tshigs yigi (yi gi) ’bris don la | yod ba dngul gyis bhang ’tshod byas nas | spid ’tshong | ston tshong

16. byed 1S bzer nas | dngul rgyu yod bsu thad nas stang mi phyogs pa yul khag lnga yi bgrong pa spyi skor rtags | sgal srid yul kha lnga nas | sgyu yod pa

17. med pa rnaṃs nas bstang na | grigs chad dgong brtar rna rgyal dang | dngul chad ’drigs nang rtar phul phyog pa | yul ga lnga spyi lags skor rtags

18. ma zad yul kha snga’o sa la | bsteng nyed | tshug | rgya ga | btsang li | bsted bcas | sa bzhi rang thag gi sa bca’

19. la phyi mi {’tshong} ’tshong rgyab du bcug sa med | sgal srid gyab tse | yul pa’i dag po’i rtam zer dgos | sgal

20. srid rtaṃ bshed nas | ’tshong rgyab ngos ma yin zer nas | dos len la thugs na | su yul nas mda’ bstang tshe

21. yul kha lnga po’i rgan mi spyan tsugs thaṃd (thams cad) ’dzoṃ nas | cigs ’chong | gnyis ’chong gyab nas | smra’ pa brtang rgyu

22. mchod pa | dgong brtar yigi (yi gi) nang bzhin gyis | mchod tshigs yigi (yi gi) lags brtags X X X X X ’don cha ’di la

23. mi gyur zer nas | bsas tshogs rnaṃ blaṃ (bla ma) la phul pa yin | sgan mi grag grig spyi lags bstags


2. zhes pa chu sbrul lo; chod tshig yi ge ’bri 3. don la; pha mes ltar gyi yi ge rnying pa; ’dri don la; sngar rgyun; stod nas stod dgra 4. smad dgra gang ltar; mdun du; mi dmangs rgyab tu bsdad; gcig mchong gnyis mchong byas; lab {stang} 5. gtang rgyu; sdod mi chog pa; ’dzom dus sngar rgyun; tshes 10 la ’dug; da lta 6. tshes 10; mi snyan pa’i gtam; gang du; brda’ btang ma thag tu 7. mi re mi re; gang la thug; gal srid brda’ brda’ btang; sgrig chad 8. gong ltar chod tshig nang ltar; kha gcig lce gnyis byed mi chog; phyi gtam 9. sdud rgyu; nang gtam; bskyal yod; ’dzom dus; mi dmangs mna’ skyel byed 10. snyug gu (?) lag skor gyis rtags 12. bdag po mana (< ma gtogs); tshab la; bsdad nas; aki gtang; rgyu; awu bsdad nas 13. gal srid; nyes chad; spyi lag skor rtags; don tshig; cha dpang yi ge; mthe (?) rtags 15. tshes bzang; chod tshig yi ge ’bri; bang mdzod byas; dpyid ’tshong; ston ’tshong 16. zer nas; su thad; gtang mi chog; grong pa; gal srid; rgyu yod 17. btang na; sgrig chad gong ltar mna’ bskyal dang; grig nang ltar ’bul chog; spyi lag 18. lnga bo’i sa; sa cha 19. gal srid rgyab tshe; bdag pos gtam; gal 20. srid gtam bshad; dolen thug na; brda’ gtang tshe 21. gcig mchong | gnyis mchong brgyab nas; mrawa (< smra ba) gtang rgyu 22. chod; gong ltar yi ge; chod tshig yi ge lag rtags; don rtsa ’di; zer nas | sāhi; rgan mi drag sgrig spyi lag rtags


[Citation from an invocation to Mañjuśrī.] The purpose of this document of agreement among the Five Shöyul, written in the Water Dragon year: this new document has been written because there were no old ones like those of our ancestors. As in the past, whatever enemies might come, whether upland enemies from above, or lowland enemies [from below], the headmen and supervisor shall be in front and the ordinary villagers behind. We shall speak forcefully (lit. jump once, jump twice), and even if there is someone we recognise we should not sit (i.e. demur).

It has been customary for us in the past to hold meetings on the 10th day of the 3rd Hor Month, and it shall continue to be so.

If unpleasant news reaches any of the five communities, as soon as word has been sent, the headmen and supervisors as well as all individuals shall assemble, whether it is day or night.

If a summons is issued and an entire village fails to attend the assembly, it shall pay a fine of 8 rupees, and if a household fails to come, it shall pay a fine of 1 rupee. No one should have two tongues in one mouth in relation to the matter presented above in this agreement. At the annual meeting in the third month, the people shall swear an oath about whether they have gathered information from the outside and brought it to the interior, and conveyed no information from the inside to the outside.

The document is affirmed with seals (one each from Taye, Gyaga and Tsele, and two from each of Tshug and Te) after being handed around to all the assembled villagers.

line 11
When meetings are held, only heads of estates may be present [to represent their estate]. [If the head of the household is] the son, he may not remain at home and send his father as a substitute; and [if the head of the estate is] the father, his son should not be the one to attend the meeting. If a substitute does go to a meeting, there will be a fine of 2 rupees. The document is confirmed by being passed around to each member of the gathering, who sets his mark. The witness to this agreement is Lama Jamyang Wangdu (seal).

line 15
Water Dragon year, 9th month, an auspicious day: a document of agreement. The “haves” (yod pa) have amassed a treasury of mone, and say that they will engage in spring and autumn trade. But whoever is rich may not trade just as he wishes, [a resolution that is] confirmed by the document being passed around the members of the assembly. If anyone in the five communities, whether rich or poor, does send [someone to engage in trade], an oath shall be sworn according to the rules as specified above, and a fine shall be paid according to the rules. This is confirmed by the document being circulated among the assembled representatives of the five communities. Outsiders may not come to trade on the territory of the five communitites, Taye, Tshug, Gyaga, Tsele, and Te. If a trader from the outside does [attempt to] do business, the inhabitants (lit. owners) of the territory concerned should have words with him. If, once he has been spoken to, he insists on doing business, and it comes to a fight, someone should issue a summons and the all the headmen and supervisors of the five communities should come and gather, and after arguing vociferously, they should engage in conciliatory talk. This document of agreement, which deals with such matters as those mentioned above, is confirmed by being passed from hand to hand. Having stated that [this agreement] is not to be altered, it is confirmed, and offered to the lama of Tshognam. It is marked by being passed around the assembly of headmen and senior figures.

Line 12, a kyis bstang rgyu | a ba dad nas…: some communities in South Mustang use the terms awu and aki as distinct kinship terms for father and father’s brother respectively, whereas in others they are used indiscriminately for both (fraternal polyandry having, until recently, been the commonest form of marriage). In the present case it is clear that they are synonymous.