HMA/UTshognam/Tib/37

Date: Water Snake year, 10th month, 12th day, a Wednesday (1917)
Script: ’khyug
Lines: 12
Remarks: the left margin bears a round seal set at either end of the name of the Dzar dpon po.

Summary
An agreement by the community of Te concerning the irrigation rights and exemption from rent for Amchi Tshewang, who has recently been invited, along with his family, to occupy the priestly estate of Baza.

Transliteration

  1. chu drul zla pa 10 pa’i tshes 12 re sa 4 nyin | ster rgan choskyab (chos skyab) pho^g (phon tshog) | rgan dpaldan (dpal ldan) | rgan ’rgyal zlos
  2. sum rtsos yul ’dir tshes ldyad nas | zhal cham thun ’drub thog nas | am byi tshe dbang la
  3. chos tshig yige (yi ge) snang sdon | sdon sngon bha sa rgon sdag med pa | sgon zhing kyi sgon
  4. zhing kyi dbang tshan rnang ’dug zhing | byes su chus skor ma chams zhing dzar dpon
  5. zang sdor nas brig lam dzad zhing | zhing thog skor sngon kyang se khal 1 gcig
  6. byang khun dar | ’dus de nasong (nas song?) | lo re zhin se khal rees (re res) yul la phul rgyu dang
  7. zhing chus skor | chu ’rgyan sgyab nas | lan dzin nas da stang rtang nas | chu skal dang
  8. po nyin cig rgon zhing cu rgyu dang | de nas yul zhing khang nas | yang kyer chus
  9. skal dang por rnang rgyu chos pa dang | chu skal yul pa gang gos kyi | skal dang po snang
  10. snang rgyu chod sdon | khral kyang aṃ byi pha bu 2 la khral las gong yang rnang khrod yul |
  11. tsi ’bres byi rgyu chod pa’i sdon | am byi sku tshes nam rnas bhar | rgon zhing kyi
  12. dbang tsan yul nas phul pa’i rtags | rgan sde rtsi ci lags skor | ge

Left margin
(seal) cha spang dzar dpon zang sdor (seal)

Emendations
1. chu sbrul 2. gsum gtsos; tshes brgyad?; zhal ’cham mthun grub; am chi 3. chod tshig yi ge gnang don; don sngon ba tshwa dgon bdag; kyi dgon 4. dbang btsan gnang; rjes su chu’i; ma ’chams; sgrig lam mdzad 6. sbyang rgyun ltar; dus de nas bzung?; re bzhin; ’bul rgyu 7. zhing chu’i skor; rgyan brgyab; las ’dzin nas brda gtong btang 8. dgon zhing ’chu; yang skyar ’chu 9. gnang rgyu chod pa; gang dgos 10. gnang rgyu chod don; dgong yangs gnang sprod (?) 11. rtsis ’bres (?) byed rgyu chod pa’i don; am chi sku tshe nam gnas bar; dgon zhing 12. dbang btsan; sde {rtsi} spyi lag skor; dge left margin cha dpang

Paraphase
Wednesday, the 12th day of the 10th month in a Water Snake year. On the basis of an agreement reached in this community, led by the headmen of Te Chökyab Phuntshog, Palden and Gyaldö, on the 8th day of this month, this written agreement is presented to Amchi Tshewang. Baza gompa had long been without an occupant (lit. owner), and (tenancy of) the temple and its fields were given to him. Later on there was a disagreement over the irrigation circuit, but this was resolved by Zangdor, the nobleman of Dzar. As rent for his fields, the Amchi should pay one se khal (30 zo ba) of barley (nas), as was the custom in the past (with the previous tenant of Baza); since then, every year, 1 se khal [of grain] should be given to the community. Concerning the irrigation roster, after dice [to determine the order] have been cast, the constables should inform [the Baza lama]: the first share of water shall be for irrigating the gonpa’s fields for one full day. After all the villagers’ fields have been irrigated, Baza should again be given a share. However many circuits the village can manage, Baza temple should always be first on the list.

As for taxes, the Amchi and his son may abide in Baza free of charge (gong yang < dgong yangs). The community of Te gives ownership (dbang tshan [btsan]) of the temple and its fields to the Amchi and his son until the end of the Amchi’s life.

The nobleman of Dzar, Zangdor, sets his seal in the left margin as a witness to the agreement.

Comment
Amchi Tshewang is said by ND to have been a natural child of a woman of Chongkhor fathered by a member of the Shari Poengyuta clan from Dzar. The previous tenant of Baza temple was a member of the Tsabgyepa clan, considered to have been a reincarnate lama, who left Baza when he married into Taye.

Amchi Tshewang is the father’s father’s father of the most recent tenant of Baza temple, Karma Tshering, and his late elder brother, the erstwhile tenant of Upper Tshognam. Both are the elder brothers of ND. Baza temple has finally become vacant again. Following a dispute between Karma Tshering and the Tepas, the latter withdrew Baza’s irrigation rights in 1994 and the temple’s fields have been barren ever since. In the summer of 1995 Karma Tshering finally decided to leave Baza for good and settle in Jomsom with his family. Several years later he returned to removed the wooden beams of the building, and the house is now an uninhabitable ruin.

Note
Line 7, lan dzin (< las ’dzin): the usual term for this category of community officer in Southern Lo—including Te and Tshug—is rol po. To the best of my knowledge the term las ’dzin is used only in Northern Lo.