Neighbours and Enemies

Charles Ramble

in The Navel of the Demoness

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195154146
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868513 | DOI:
  Neighbours and Enemies

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The cohesiveness that gave the Shöyul the collective strength with which to deal with its troublesome neighbours required alliances between communities that were sometimes the bitterest of enemies. Documents from Te's archives include the record of threats to its very existence in the 17th century, as a result of regional warfare—mainly with Jumla—and also the perceived treachery of its nearest neighbour, Tshug. The chapter uses both Nepali and Tibetan documents to reconstruct the history of boundary disputes between Te and all its neighbours in subsequent centuries. These conflicts, which are concerned mainly with the use of grazing lands, are seen as an important part of the development of Te's territorial identity and self‐definition. It is suggested that the cautious attitude of the Tepas toward outsiders is due in part to a long and sometimes traumatic legacy of hostile engagement with other communities as well as more distant powers.

Keywords: neighbours; alliances; war; Te; Tshug; boundary disputes; grazing; territorial identity; self‐definition

Chapter.  11979 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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