Date: Earth Tiger year, 2nd month, 24th day (1878)
Lines: 20
Script: ’khyug


  1. she bya sdan pa rter gan 3 dang | (tshe dbang) ’rgyam tsho | ’du li (tshe dbang) lags kyi gang ’dir (yi ge) spel don la
  2. kha sngon | tshugs dang | khyed rang 2 kyis | glang mos kor su | ngos la sris dab byas pa’i kor su | sa tsham
  3. la rta gyu’i kor ’du | su bha dang | a stam a ran | sku zhab bhel po | sku zhab rtsandha bhir | (nyi ma) sam
  4. ’drug | sku zhab (rdo rje) cad khrig nas | {1S} khrim rtar dzad gyus thags chod nas krugs cad ’du
  5. pheb tshar song pa dang | ma zad mi zhan ma slo smad tshang ma la bri pa | krugs cad ’du rnang
  6. kab tshugs pa zer thogs ’du rtang ’dugs lags | ngos nas tshug kyi slor stad byas pa tshang
  7. ma khrig tshe | me yong zer pa shar tshe | {me} me yong zer nas | byus thab kyis da lam mar
  8. dpheb rog rma rnang zhus nas | sham la pheb gyu byas nas | ngos dang (ga ga) bhel po tshang ma gong
  9. pa zhus nas logs yod lags | tshugs zla pa dang rogs 1 krug cad ’du dad ’dug lags | khong 2 dang
  10. a rtam a ran 2 nas da lam pheb gos zer ’dugs | de lam khye rang kyis byus dang thab ma thon
  11. tshes | khrim ni bring tsam yong nyen ’dug lags | yin kyang mi do chod mar kags ’du srib
  12. tsam yong lugs byed | yang su bha la mi khrul ’rgyab nas yar pheb tshes | me yong pa yong
  13. yin {1S} kyang khye rang rnams bros gang yags byed | ’dung kar ’o mi so pa bra chu ren byung pa
  14. la phen me thog tshes | di yang dong po khog rul yin pa’i rtags | krug cad ’du su
  15. bha za mi 2 la zhus nas | bres gong zo pa phyed 13 re za 2 nas phen rnang gyu chod yod | zhags 10
  16. thub rnang gyu chod yod | rter pa la pa’i shi kyi dngul 12 tsha las ’dug | bras gos tshes
  17. spyi gyog mar yong lug byed | yul tshang ma la da rtong lug byed | zhen tshugs pa tshang ma
  18. yar logs yod | khyed rang rnams yar song nas tshugs gan 2 zhags 1 ’rgyags nas zhag song |
  19. mar bro gyu zer nas ’rgyag pa yin | (byas sor) yar log gyu la thags brgyab nas rtang song
  20. nya pa (ga ga) bel po byas song | (yig ges) de zhin sa rtag zla pa 2 pa’i tshe 24 la kags nas thon |

Letter sent by Kag to the three headman, as well as Tshe dbang rgyal mtsho and Du li tshe dbang of Te. The subject is an ongoing dispute (glang mo for gleng mo) between the addressees and Tshug. There is some disagreement about the boundaries of the grazing lands of Te and Tshug, and the matter has now been taken to the court in Tukche. The prominent persons who have been drawn in are the (unnamed) subba, Ada Naren, sKu zhabs Bhel po, sKu zhabs tsandha bhir (< Nep. Candra Bir), a certain Nyi ma bsam grub and sKu zhabs rDo rje. The letter comprises a report to the Tepas on the development of the affair in Tukche, and includes advice on how they should proceed in the dispute. The Kagpas, it seems, are on the side of the Tepas in the conflict. They reassure the Tepas that, when everyone from Lower Lo was interviewed on the matter, they concurred that the outcome was just as the Tshugpas would have wished it, and that this was improper. The implication is that many of the dignitaries named above, who have probably been assembled as a sort of jury, are favourable to Tshug and are even in the latter’s pay. The Kagpas told the body that they should not yet go up (to inspect the boundaries), but that they should go later—presumably when the Tepas had prepared themselves better. The authors (the Kagpas) and the Nobleman (Ga ga) Bhel po— who are on the side of Te—begged leave and returned to Kag. Zla ba of Tshug and a friend of his have remained in Tukche. Those two, with Ada Naren, insisted that the jury should go up to the pastures now. The Kagpas advise the Tepas to devise an effective plan (byus dang thab), or there will be an unfavourable (lit. ‘mediocre’) outcome to the matter (khrim ni bring tsam). A capable (do chod < SMT gochöta) Tepa must make a short visit (srib tsam) to Kag to dis- cuss the matter before the subba goes up to the pastures. There follows a cryptic remark: “like a white conch fed on milk—if it is no use against the hostile water-sprite…” (ll. 13–14: ’dung kar ’o mi so pa bra chu ren byung pa la phen me thog tshes < dung dkar ’o mas gsos pa ’dra chu srin byung ba la phan mi thogs tshe). The reference is to an episode in Khye’u Padma ’od ’bar, in which the ship’s passengers include a live conch fed on milk to use as a defensive weapon against attacks by sea-monsters. The clear implication is that if the Tepas are spending money on bribing the Kagpas to help them, they should use their ally to the full.
The subject then changes. The Kagpas have heard from the subba that, as of the coming Monday, the price of rice will be 12.5 zo ba (of salt per bushel?). This price will obtain for only a period of ten days. The Tepas still have a balance of 12 rupees in Tukche. If they need rice, they should come down quickly (while the price is still low). All the Tepas should be called (to Tukche to buy rice?). After everyone had departed from Tukche, two headmen of Tshug were retained (in custody?) for a day, because they said that they were planning to go further south (presumably to sell salt, thereby violating the Subba’s monopoly?). The goats were sent back up, and Ga ga Bhel po stood as guarantor (nya pa < gnya’ bo).

ll. 3, 10. a rtam a ran, a stam a ran: Ada Naren, a prominent trader and landholder of Marpha, is best remember for having been the host of the Japanese traveller Ekai Kawaguchi who spent time in the area on his way to Tibet in 1899 and1900. Although he is now remembered as Ada Naren, it is interesting to note the similarity between the rendering of his name in this document and Kawaguchi’s reference to him as “Adam Naring”. For more on this interesting figure see Vinding 1998: 86–88; Kawaguchi 1909: 64–65).

l. 3. The unnamed subba is probably Kaviram Thakali, who held the customs contract from 1877 to 1882 and again from 1889 to 1891 (Vinding 1998: 81).