Date: Wood Dragon year, 4th month, 17th day, Tuesday (1904)
Script: ’khyug
Lines: 11; two-line title on verso

Contract for a loan in which the lender agrees to let the borrowers take his turn to receive a rotating fund.



  1. so ma dbang ’dus dang bstei^n (bsten ’dzin) spun gnyis gi phan legs grong pa la dngul gyi
  2. ’brus khor byas pa’i sdig dri yige (yi ge) legs |


  1. shing brugs zla ba zhis pa’i tshes bcu ’dun res za mig dmar nyin | tshugs bra gar nyima bsam drubs blang pa’i
  2. brus ’khor sde | joo (jo mo?) tshes dbang me bar la sku khyen zhus nas | chos ’khor sti^n (sten ’dzin) | so ma dbang ’dus
  3. spun da gnyis la phen lags grong pa nyos rnas khos stabs ches ba la stan nas | brus ’khor ’dus
  4. ba’i nya la stan nas | slar phyin chad brus ’khor byang ma rnus ba byung na | zhing kho rog | tsab brgyad
  5. nyi shu bdrag tse ma ’u gnyis | ’ung ma ’u gnyis | sde gang ga | snon rog mdzod zhus ba
  6. las ’don sde la mi gyur ba chos ’khor st^in (stan ’dzin) sem thad rang ’thad gis — rtags
  7. so ma dbang ’dus sem thed rang thad gis — rtags (dbu can: sa hi)
  8. cha spang zur gsal tsang li sum rtar zhug pa’i — rtags
  9. ster byam dbyang zhug pa’i — rtags
  10. shol tse grags tses ’dung ma sde phul ba ngos sten yin
  11. yig bris ngos so ma dbang ’dus rang yin —


2. ’bru ’khor; sdig dri (?)

1. shing ’brug; bzhi ba’i; bcu bdun re gza’ 2. ’bru ’khor de; sku mkhyen 3. spun zla; nyos nas; khötab (SMT < dgos gtugs) che ba la brten; ’bru ’khor bsdus 4. nyaba (gnya’ bo) la brten; sbyang ma nus pa 5. ma bu gnyis; de gang ga; nen rogs 6. las don de la mi ’gyur; sems ’thad 7. sems ’thad rang ’thad kyis 8. cha dpang; bzhugs pa’i 9. bzhugs pa’i 10. gdung ma phul ba dngos brtan (?) 11. yig ’bri


Written document (sdig dri?) concerning the taking (lit. “doing”) of a rotating fund as money for [the purchase of] a house in Phelag by the two brothers Soma Wangdu and Tenzin.

Tuesday, the seventeenth day of the fourth month in  a Wood Dragon year. Because Tenzin and Sonam Wangdu, two brothers of Chongkhor, have bought an estate in Phelag, they are in great [financial] need, and have asked the lord (or nun) Tshewang Membar if they might [take his/her turn to receive] the rotating fund that was initiated by Nyima Samdrub of Tshug. Since there is [a need for] security on taking the rotating fund, if, in the future, it should happen that they are unable to pay the fund [when their turn comes], they have asked that all the following fields should be taken: Khorog; Tsabgye; their Nyishu Dragtse “mother and son” pair; their Ungma “mother and son” pair.

To confirm that he will not diverge from this agreement, Tenzin of Chongkhor sets his mark. Soma Wangdu willingly sets his mark. The witness, whose name is clearly stated to the side, is Sumdar of Tsele. It is true that [one poplar tree for producing] beams on the Sholtse Dragte area has also been given. The scribe of the document is me, Soma Wangdu.

Rotating funds (’bru ’khor) are normally, as in the present case, identified by the person who initiates them. The principal aim of rotating funds is to provide people with a large sum of cash for investment in business or for the repayment of debts. Tshewang Membar’s turn to receive the fund has come around, but the two brothers have arranged with him to receive it in his stead, to be repaid at some future time presumably at the usual rate of interest. For more on rotating funds, see HMA/LTshognam/Tib/05, commentary

Line 5, nya: the term nya ba (< gnya’ bo, “witness”) is an SMT expression that also appears in other documents with the meaning of “guarantor”. It is not clear here whether the syllable nya here is meant to denote the guarantor or the security. In any event, nya alone does not have the meaning of “security” in SMT.

Line 5, ma’u (< ma bu) gnyis: the expression “Mother and son” in relation to adjoining fields of the same name signifies that they are different sizes. When their size is roughly equal they are designated as “relatives” (mes mes). The name tsab rgyad is also that of the main clan of Tshognam, derived from the name of the village founder, rTswa brgyad pa Lama.

Line 8, tsang li sum rtar: Sumdar of Tsele is remembered as the individual who was hired by subba Mohanman Thakali to travel to India to receive training from the British in techniques of salt production. In 1927 Mohanman had taken a contract on Tshaurong, a salina close to Te but belonging to Tshug. Further details of this contract are provided in Ramble (forthcoming).