Te_2_2-7Te_2_8-13Te_2_14-19Te_2_20-25

Te_2_26-31

Te_2_32-35

HMA/TE/TIB/02

Date: Female Wood Pig year (1815?) Stitched booklet of 36 pages
Script: tshugs; some ’khyug

Transliteration (first and last line of each plate)

p. 3. shing mo phag lo la yin

p. 4, l. 1. shing mo phag lo la ster yul pa ka kros

p. 5, l. 6. kas yin | kyi mo khrang kra yan | kod

p. 6, l. 1. yan | ring lag yi’i kas yin | sten dru man

p. 7, l. 6. mdzeb dbug han bal lag yi kas yin

p. 8, l. 1. rtsang spo ya ri han | kra dum han bal po yi

p. 9. l. 7. krang ka ma thob na dru klog kyu yin

p. 10, l. 1. ring lag yi ka yin | zhag mo nyi shu

p. 11, l. 6. gyang pa cu bu zo ba cu sum cu sum rol po yi

p. 12, l. 1. sham pa yi rus dbu snyung pa’i gyang pa cig

p. 13, l. 6. yong {S}dzo bo ri ka la gyab du ba glang

p. 14, l. 1. mi khyer pa’i ang med | rol po ’khor pa’i

p. 15, l. 6. bi ’u lag [1]ul gyu mi yong | rol po gyan

p. 16. l. 1. rgyab dus chang gyang pa snyis zhim po yi ma

p. 17, l. 6. pho mo (thams cad) snga’ bcu lngas ngas snga la thar kyu

p. 18, l. 1. yin thar cang rgyang pa zhi ston kyu yin

p. 19, l. 6. spa rgyang pa cig dgan rol zhes kyu yi[n]

p. 20, l. 1 dgan rol ’khor pa’i dus a las do bras

p. 21, l. 6 dbang med | dgad po ko na yang mi gro ba’i

p. 22, l. 1. sted pa yul pa ka’ bdros lcam snas

p. 23, l. 6. yin | gro ma gos |na| tshab nas [1S]

p. 24, l. 1. spang tsa lo khor ma na khur bung bu

p. 25, l. 4–5. na chad pa tsam gyab na ang | (bkra shis)

p. 26, l. 1. ang med | mi gro na a las zho med yin

p. 27, l. 4 ma byed na | (bkra shis)

p. 28, l. 1 kyu yin | sngan ma sngan ma sham ma sham

p. 29, l. 6 na yang na zho gang yul spa [1][oms]

p. 30, l. 1 kyu yin | su yi ngo la tsar cod mi byed ang me

p. 31, l. 6 grong ba ’tshang ma ma khyer pa’i dbang med

p. 32, l. 1 [m]i mang chos dus drug cu res snga mar

p. 33, l. 5 za kyu yin zhu ba med | (bkra shis)

p. 34, l. 1 chu pho lo’i bzla tshes la lted g.yul

p. 35, l. 5 nas yi gi ’di bsar ba bris pa yin

Summary
p. 3. Title: “This is in the female Wood Pig year”.

pp. 4–10. The geographical ranges of responsibility for different categories of messengers and remuneration—in cash or grain—allocated to them are specified. The titles of the messengers, who are appointed to run errands on behalf of the community, are contractions based on the term ’u lag. The messenger with the longest range is the bal lag, who must travel as far south as Kathmandu (Bal po) and as far north as sPra dum, a trade-mart on the north side of the gTsang po river in Tibet. The ring lag’s range extends north as far as the Kore La, which marks the border between Nepal and Tibet. In present-day Te there are also messengers with a more limited geographical range, notably the bar lag and the thung lag, respectively for ‘medium’ distances and for affairs in the near vicinity of the settlement.

pp. 11–13. Beer allocations for the ceremony to mark the end of office for the constables, and additional beer allocations to accompany the swearing of oaths (dbu snyung).

pp. 13–15. Keeping certain types of livestock within the settlement area is prohibited at spec- ified times of year; villagers who fail to attend the ceremony for the selection of the consta- bles are to be fined; anyone who has been assigned a special task by the headmen is exempt- ed from normal duties.

p. 16. People who brew beer for ceremonial occasions must swear an oath about the quality of beer they have made; the quantity of beer to be allocated to the community is specified; fines are to be levied on those who make sub-standard beer; the presence of the three constables on these occasions is obligatory.

p. 17. Monks and nuns are partially exempt from tax.

p. 17–19. Tax exemption for people over the age of 55, and rules regarding retirement cere- monies (thar chang); restrictions on collection of firewood and dung by households other than full estates (grong pa).

p. 20–21. Allocations of food and money to the headmen and constables at the respective cer- emonies for their appointment and on other occasions; the headmen must link hands when they swear their oath of office; villagers must perform any task assigned them by the head- men, even if they are elderly.

p. 26. (Continued from p. 21.) It is forbidden to appoint under-age substitutes to represent one in community meetings.

p. 22. Specification of a payment of 8 rupees (zho gang), by young and old alike, for a pur- pose of which the meaning is not clear.

p. 23. The duties of certain categories of messengers.

p. 24–25. The headmen are to be allocated three donkey-loads of meadow grass (each? From each household?); cattle, donkeys and goats may graze on the stubble of the harvested fields only at specified periods; once the fields have been planted, anyone who allows animals to stray into fields will be fined.

p. 28–30. Continued from p. 26: further regulations for the messengers; dice (or another form of lottery) should be used on certain occasions to establish order; fines are to be imposed for certain violations.

p. 27. Continuation from a page that is apparently missing: concerning the duties of messen- gers.

p. 31. Monkey year: conditions for the inheritance of estates by sons whose fathers have died.

p. 32–33. Restriction on people over the age of 65 from participating in certain events. (It appears that the retirement age at this period is ten years older than the 55 years specified above. The retirement age at the present time is also 55 years.)

p. 34. Water monkey year: property rights for the wife of a polyandrous marriage when one husband dies and his widow becomes divorced from his brother (she keeps half and the sur- viving husband the other half); property rights of widows (they keep the entire estate); “because the headmen and stewards lost the documents, this document has been newly written”.

Commentary
This document is a booklet of 36 pages in a cloth cover. (The inner back cover is written on, and the covers are therefore included in the pagination above.)

The archives of Te contain a number of documents in which odd regulations have been written down. The earliest evidence that such regulations were assembled and codified is con- tained in this small booklet of seventeen pages, bearing no title other than the date, the Female Wood Pig year (probably 1815). Page 4 seems to say that the document lists forty points and that the arbiter in any disputes will be the lord. The exact number of points is far from clear. The concluding line of the document offers a clue about the circumstances under which these regulations might have come to be between the covers of a single booklet. The last two items, concerning widows’ property-rights, appear in an addendum dated Male Water Monkey year (1872?). The entry is followed by the statement that “As a consequence of the headmen and stewards having lost the documents, this has been written down anew”.

The remark may refer only to the last entry, but it is clear from the variety of hands in which many other passages are written that the booklet was not compiled all at one time. It is a com- pendium of regulations that were set down as the subjects with which it deals arose as con- tentious issues and were resolved. Some of the pages—notably 22–23, 24–25 and 27—are out of sequence and belong to incomplete passages. The fact that they appear to be older that the remainder of the text (this is especially apparent for pp. 22–23) suggests that the document is ‘recycling’ paper from an earlier compilation.