Inside the Shöyul

Charles Ramble

in The Navel of the Demoness

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195154146
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868513 | DOI:
  Inside the Shöyul

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The five settlements that constitute the Shöyul are different from the other 14 communities of Baragaon inasmuch as they are a cultural “island” that partly resisted the Tibetanisation of the region following the 16th century. The territory on which they stand was once the site of over 20 settlements, most of which were abandoned after the 17th century owing to both political and environmental factors. The solidarity of the five Shöyul was not merely cultural and linguistic but also political. Archival evidence reveals the secret strategies whereby the group furthered its common interests within the enclave of Baragaon, and also the operation of the alliance that enabled it to shed its long‐standing quasi‐feudal obligations to the King of Mustang.

Keywords: Shöyul; Baragaon; Tibetanisation; politics; environment; archives; King of Mustang

Chapter.  12247 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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