Chapter

 The People of Mustang and Their History

Charles Ramble

in The Navel of the Demoness

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195154146
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868513 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154146.003.0002
  The People of Mustang and Their History

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The community of Te, the focus of this book, is located within the modern‐day Nepalese district of Mustang. The aim of this chapter is to situate Mustang within the historical and political context of Nepal. The fortunes of Mustang are traced from the creation of the kingdom of Lo (to which it corresponds in geographical extent) in the 15th century. Lo later became a vassal of the kingdom of Jumla, to the west, and its territory disintegrated into several autonomous enclaves. The rise of the Gorkhas in the 18th century resulted in the absorption of Lo/Mustang into the nascent state of Nepal. Under Nepal's Rana regime (1846–1951), Mustang was dominated by the Thakalis, whose monopoly of the salt trade brought them political and judicial privileges. Particular attention is given to the ethnically Tibetan enclave of Baragaon, and to the cluster of five villages called the Shöyul, where Te is located.

Keywords: History; Nepal; Mustang; Lo; Te; Jumla; Gorkhas; Ranas; Thakalis; salt trade; Baragaon; Shöyul

Chapter.  8549 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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