Kun bzang chos gling

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Abt. III:  DIPLOMATA, EPISTOLAE ET LEGES (Hrsg. von Prof. Dr. Dieter Schuh und Dr. Christoph Cüppers)

Band 19: Charles Ramble in collaboration with  Nyima Drandul: Tibetan Sources for a Social History of Mustang, Nepal. Vol. 3: The Archives of Kun bzang chos gling Convent. 2019. ISBN 978-3-03809-135-6. X,  159 Seiten. Festband Din A 3. 73,50,- Euro.



The documents presented in this collection were photographed under the auspices of the Nepal-German Project on High Mountain Archaeology (NGPHMA). The project, which extended from 1992 to 1997, was funded by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) and directed by Professor Dr Dieter Schuh.

The present work is the third in a series of volumes under the general title Tibetan Sources for a Social History of Mustang (Nepal). Volume 1, The Archive of Te, was published in 2008 (henceforth referred to as Tibetan Sources 1). Volume 2, The Archives of the Tantric Lamas of Tshognam, appeared in 2016 (Tibetan Sources 2). A further collection, The Archive of Baragaon, is currently in preparation. The latter had been announced as the third volume in the series, but in view of the proximity of Künzang Chöling to Tshognam, and the close connections between the convent and the communities of Tshognam and Te, it was decided that the convent’s archive would be the more appropriate subject for the third volume. The archive of Baragaon will be the fourth in the series.

The work of editing and translating the documents contained in the present collection was carried out within the framework of the Franco-German project Social Status in the Tibetan World (TibStat), which began in 2016 and is due to end in 2019. The project was jointly funded by the DFG and the French National Research Agency (Agence National de Recherche).

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the community of Tshug (Chusang), for granting us access to the archive of the community, which includes the collection of documents published here. 


The documents in this volume have been numbered and grouped into eight sections as follows:

Section One (HMA/KCh/Tib/01–06): Varia: the fiscal status of Künzang Chöling; convent property; the annual cycle of rituals; measures to prevent the closure of the convent

Section Two (HMA/KCh/Tib/07–17): Loans, interest and endowments

Section Three (HMA/KCh/Tib/18–28): Transfers of responsibility

Section Four (HMA/KCh/Tib/29–34): Rules and discipline

Section Five (HMA/KCh/Tib/35–38): Disputes

Section One: Varia
Date: 1904
Confirmation that Gönpa Gang should pay an annual cumāni tax of 10 rupees to the government of Nepal.

Date: 1919
A list of property in a religious building that is the shared responsibility of four of the five Shöyul communities. It is not certain that the building in question is Künzang Chöling.

Date: none given
An undated list of the ceremonies performed in the annual cycle of Künzang Chöling. In a few cases the endowment that has been made is specified.

Date: none given
An undated list of the ceremonies performed in the annual cycle of Künzang Chöling, apparently an incomplete version of KCh/03.

Date: 1934?
The Kushog Lama Nyilda Bum has dismissed the nuns of Tshug for a period of three years, apparently for financial reasons. Measures are taken to keep the convent open.

Date: none given
Copy of KCh/01.

Section Two: Loans, interest and endowments
Date: none given
A list of ceremonies, with entries relating to different aspects of management, including loans made by the convent, and the amount of requisites and payments to officers.

Date: various years, from 1854(?) to 1951(?)
A list of loans made by the convent in 11 non-consecutive years.

Date: 1866
A list of placements of loans; guarantors are specified in some cases.

Date: various years, sexegenary cycles uncertain
A record of loans made over three non-consecutive years.

Date: 1889, with copies of documents from earlier years
A list of loans made in several years. Loans that are no longer outstanding are deleted. Several different cash-to-grain exchange rates are specified, suggesting that the booklet may be a disorderly compilation of numerous documents from various periods.

Date: 1884
List of the heirs (shul) of householders who have taken loans from Künzang Chöling, specifying the sums involved.

Date: various years
List of loans and anticipated interest payments.

Date: various years, from 1827 to 1913
List of loans, in some cases with the interest expected from the borrowers.

Date: 1937
A receipt for the interest received by Künzang Chöling on loans from endowments.

Date: 1938
A document of interest received from nine people of Tshug on loans of cash by the Managers.

Date: 1875
Chikyab Dorje of Tangma is unable to repay 34 rupees he has borrowed from Künzang Chöling. The Tshognam lamas and Thutob Lama mediate, and he agrees that if he is unable to pay the money he will leave the convent a field after his death.

Section Three: Transfers of responsibility
Date: 1774
Transfer of Künzang Chöling property in Wood Horse 1774. Significantly, the price of barley is given as 60 zo ba per rupee.

Date: 1837
Transfer of [part of?] the Künzang Chöling property to the new managers.

Date: 1841
Transfer of Künzang Chöling property to the new managers.

Date: six years, from 1845 to 1865
Details of six four-yearly transfers of responsibility among managers from 1845 to 1865.

Date: various years
Transfer of property between to new managers on four occasions. Sexegenary cycles are not clear.

Date: various years
Transfers of convent property and responsibilities to new managers.

Section Four: Rules and discipline
Date: 1890
Revised rules of the convent. The witnesses include Kuzhab Zangdor and Kuzhab Khamsum, two prominent nobles of Baragaon.

Date: 1942
A revised set of convent rules.

Date: 1935–1936 An order from a ruler of Baragaon to the lama of Künzang Chöling to act like his illustrious predecessors. The document forbids the lama from maltreating the nuns by tying up and whipping them, and also from depriving them of food, on pain of paying a fine of 1000 rupees.

Date: 1857 or 1917
A list of fines paid by nuns for various misdemeanours, possibly all instances of lateness.

Date: none given
Notification by the ruler of Baragaon, Candra Bhir, that a mendacious nun is to be fined.

Date: none given
Intervention by the ruler of Baragaon to compel a nun to pay fifteen years’ worth of interest on a loan from Künzang Chöling.

Section Five: Disputes
Date: 1913
A declaration by two brothers that they will not make offerings in Künzang Chöling on pain of paying a fine. The reason for the declaration is not given, but is likely to have been a dispute between the brothers and the convent.

Date: none given
Testimony by a nun of Tshug concerning the refusal of the nuns of Te to attend ceremonies in Künzang Chöling.

Date: 1903
A request from the nuns of Künzang Chöling to force the nuns of Te, who have seceded from the convent, to return. The circumstances of their departure is narrated, and the fiscal status of the convent is also described.

Date: none given
A draft of KCh/37.

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