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Collection Tibetan Oral History Archive Project

Glossary

A

  • accumulation grain [tib. trabso dru; grabs gsog 'bru] A type of grain tax collected by the government and collected to create a surplus grain fund that could be used when needed. It was often used to provide welfare to households who faced hardships.
  • adrung [tib. a drung] Official government messengers who carried government letters, edicts, etc. traveling from relay-station to relay-station using corvée animals and people.
  • aja [tib. a cag] A kinship term of reference and address for older sisters and older female relatives of the same generation as oneself. It is also used for unrelated adult women, conveying something like "Miss."
  • ajala [tib. a cag lags] A kinship term of reference and address for older sisters and older female relatives of the same generation as oneself. It is also used for unrelated adult women, conveying something like "Miss."
  • amban [tib. am ban] A Manchu term for the Imperial Resident sent by the Qing Dynasty to Lhasa to represent the Qing authority over the Tibetan government.
  • Amdo [tib. a mdo] One of the three main Tibetan sub-ethnic areas. It is located in the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau mostly in today's Qinghai Province. A person from Amdo is called an Amdowa.
  • Amdo Jayan Sheba [tib. a mdo 'jam yang bzhad pa] A famous Geluk incarnation whose main monastery is Labrang in today's Gansu Province.
  • Amdowa [tib. a mdo ba] A person from Amdo.
  • amdra [tib. am phrag] The pouch created by the fold of the upper part of a dress (chupa) above the belt that is used to carry small personal items, e.g., a snuff box.
  • ani [tib. a ne] 1. The Tibetan term for a nun. 2. The famous nun from Nyemo who led an uprising there in 1969 during the Cultural Revolution. Her name was Trinley Chödrön (tib. 'phrin las chos sgron). After her capture, she was publicly executed in Lhasa. 3. Paternal aunt, female relative of the first ascending generation paternally.
  • anila [tib. a ne lags] 1. The Tibetan term for a nun. 2. The famous nun from Nyemo who led an uprising there in 1969 during the Cultural Revolution. Her name was Trinley Chödrön (tib. 'phrin las chos sgron). After her capture, she was publicly executed in Lhasa. 3. Paternal aunt, female relative of the first ascending generation paternally.
  • anna Hindi term A currency unit used in India equal to 1/16th of a rupee.
  • apdru [tib. a phrug] A category of young tough guys that Khamba traders and rich households retained for protection, especially when going on trading trips, but in the end for anything the "boss" needed done. They lived and ate with the family and were very close with them, almost like relatives.
  • apju [tib. a ljug] A child's game played with the shin bones of the front legs of sheep and goats.
  • aptru [tib. a phrug] A category of young tough guys that Khamba traders and rich households retained for protection, especially when going on trading trips, but in the end for anything the "boss" needed done. They lived and ate with the family and were very close with them, almost like relatives.
  • arka [tib. ar ka] A type of powdered rock that was pounded on floors/roofs to produce a hard shiny surface finish.
  • ashang (la) [tib. a zhang (lags)] A kinship term of reference and address for the mother's brother (maternal uncle) and for male relatives on one's mother's side on the same generation as one's real mother's brother.

B

  • bagthuk [tib. bag thug] A traditional Tibetan soup that has small dumplings of dough.
  • babshi [tib. 'bab gzhi] The land investigation of manorial estates that was devised and conducted by Lungshar in order to raise new tax revenue from these estates for the 13th Dalai Lama's program of modernization, especially the expansion of the army.
  • bag [tib. spags] A Tibetan stable food made by mixing tsamba (roasted barley flour) with tea (or beer or water) and kneading it into balls with a dough-like consistency.
  • bagchen [tib. sbag chen] A form of mahjong in which the tiles have circles (like a domino tile) and each of 4 persons are dealt a fixed hand and play it out until the end.
  • bagthug [tib. bag thug] A soup that contains a mixture of tiny dough (flour) balls the size of a fingernail (and if available, cheese, meat, and radishes).
  • Banagshöl [tib. sbra nag zhol] A neighborhood in the northeast section of Lhasa inhabited mostly by Khambas.
  • Bargor [tib. bar skor] The name of a xiang and county in Nyemo that played an important role in the nun Trinley Chödrön's uprising of 1968-69.
  • Barkor [tib. bar skor] The inner circumambulation road that goes around the Tsuglagang (Jokhang) Temple in Lhasa. This circular road was a main market area.
  • baligyesum [tib. 'ba' li rgyal gsum] Abbreviation of the three continuous regions in southern Kham: 'Ba' thang, "Li" thang and Rgyal thang.
  • batuk [tib. bag thug] A soup that contains a mixture of tiny dough (flour) balls/dumplings the size of a fingernail (and if available, cheese, meat, and radishes).
  • bawma [tib. bogs ma] A lease agreement; leasing something.
  • Big Three Monastic Seats [tib. gdan sa gsum] The three great monasteries around Lhasa: Drepung, Sera and Ganden
  • bo [tib. 'bo] A traditional volume measurement (in the form of a box/container) that was used for measuring grain and the size of fields. One bo was equal to one khe (also called tib. mkhar ru or bstan dzin mkha ru) which weighed about 28-31 pounds for barley. Volume measurements like this were universally used to convey the size of fields. For example, a field said to be 10 khe or 10 bo in size meant that 10 khe of seed (also called 10 sönkhe)could be sown on that field.
  • böba [tib. bod pa] 1. A person from Central Tibet (tib. dbus) or sometimes someone from political Tibet in contrast to persons from Kham and Amdo. 2. Böpa is also used nowadays as a general name for all ethnic Tibetans.
  • Böbashung [tib. bod pa gzhung] The name of a mitsen (residence hall) in both Loseling and Gomang Colleges in Drepung monastery. It was for monks from Central Tibetan, i.e., for Böpa [tib. bod pa]).
  • Bombora [tib. spom po rag] A medium size khamtsen in Loseling College in Drepung Monastery.
  • Bönshö [tib. bon shod] The name of an aristocratic family.
  • booli [tib. bo'o li] A competitive child's game played by trying to throw coins into a hole.
  • böpa [tib. bod pa] 1. A person from Central Tibet (tib. dbus) or sometimes someone from political Tibet in contrast to persons from Kham and Amdo. 2. Böpa is also used nowadays as a general name for all ethnic Tibetans.
  • Böpashung [tib. bod pa gzhung] The name of a mitsen (residence hall) in both Loseling and Gomang Colleges in Drepung monastery. It was for monks from Central Tibetan, i.e., for Böpa [tib. bod pa]).
  • brigade [tib. ruga; ru khag; ch. dui] A large administrative unit in Tibetan communes that consisted of several villages. The full name for brigade was "production brigade" (tib. thon skyed ru khang; ch. shengchan dui), although most Tibetans just used the abbreviation "ruga." In Tibet, communes/brigades were initiated primarily in the late 1960s.
  • Buddha Jayanti [hind. Buddha Jayanti] The 1956 celebration in India of the 2,500 anniversary of the death (nirvana) of the Buddha.
  • bugdam [tib. sbug dam] The seal of the Dalai Lama and thus also the name for edicts promulgated directly by the Dalai Lama (over his seal).
  • bungdzö [tib. sbug mdzod] A manager/steward who was in charge of the estates of a monastery or monastic college.

C

  • chabdra [tib. ja khra] The type of pot that is used in monasteries to serve the monks tea at prayer assembly meetings.
  • chablug [tib. chab blug] The stylized (empty) water bottle worn by monk officials in the Tibetan government.
  • chabril [tib. chab ril] The Chabril's main work was overseeing serving the traja. He was also the servant of the gegö and khempo. It had a middle status of the types of lene. The chabril was also the one responsible for beating the gong at the tsog and chöra. The chabril got an extra share of gye in the tratsang.
  • chabu [tib. phyag sbug] A manager (of estates and endowments) of a monastic college or monastic khamtsen.
  • chabyog [tib. chab g.yog] An assistant or servant of the chabu.
  • Chadang [tib. cha dang] A regiment in the traditional Tibetan Army that specialized in artillery.
  • chadrung [tib. phyag drung] The head of the Chanang clerks who worked in the Tseja and Laja supply offices of the traditional Tibetan government.
  • chagdamba [tib. phyag dam pa] The powerful assistant to the Shengo during the Mönlam Chemmo Prayer Festival.
  • cham [tib. 'cham] A religious prayer dance performed by monks.
  • chambö [tib. phyag 'bul] A traditional greeting of respect involving putting the tips of one's fingers together in front of one's bent face/head and raising them.
  • chanang [tib. phyag nang] A clerk in the Tseja and Laja supply office/treasuries of the traditional Tibetan government.
  • chandzö [tib. phyag mdzod] A senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic or monastic estate, or the senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic family or a monastic unit. Generally chandzö handled both internal and external issues and were considered higher in power and status than nyerpa (stewards), who typically only handled the storerooms.
  • chandzö bugba [tib. phyag mdzod sbug pa] A senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic or monastic estate, or the senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic family or a monastic unit. Generally chandzö handled both internal and external issues and were considered higher in power and status than nyerpa (stewards), who typically only handled the storerooms.
  • chantsö [tib. phyag mdzod] A senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic or monastic estate, or the senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic family or a monastic unit. Generally chandzö handled both internal and external issues and were considered higher in power and status then nyerpa (stewards), who typically only handled the storerooms.
  • chantsö bugba [tib. phyag mdzod sbug pa] A senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic or monastic estate, or the senior manager/treasurer of an aristocratic family or a monastic unit. Generally chandzö handled both internal and external issues and were considered higher in power and status than nyerpa (stewards), who typically only handled the storerooms.
  • chang [tib. 1. chang, 2. byang] 1. Tibetan locally brewed barley beer. 2. North; nomad areas north of Lhasa in Nagchuga Prefecture 3. ch. factory.
  • changji [tib. byang spyi] The governor-general of Northern Tibet in the traditional era.
  • Changkyim [tib. chang khyim] A Tibetan aristocratic family.
  • changpa [tib. byang pa] A person (nomad) from Nakchuka prefecture north of Lhasa.
  • chatsül [tib. bya tshul] A monastic higher status that was secured by a monk serving 3 teas and 1 thukpa having the thickness of yogurt to the monastic assembly together with giving whatever amount of gye one could afford. It was considered a stepping-stone to securing higher positions and also exempted the monk from certain work obligations.
  • chekha [tib. phyed khag] Literally "half," but when used in terms of tax obligations, it meant a family whose land and tax obligation was one half of the full obligation.
  • chemmo [tib. chen mo] 1. Abbr. of the name of the Dalai Lama's Lord Chamberlain (Drönyerchemmo). 2. Title for the highest status craftsmen in traditional Tibet.
  • chenmo [tib. chen mo] 1. Abbr. of the name of the Dalai Lama's Lord Chamberlain (Drönyerchemmo). 2. Title for the highest status craftsmen in traditional Tibet.
  • chibchen [tib. chib chen] Honorific term for the horse of an aristocratic or lama.
  • chibyog [tib. chibs g.yog] Stable boys in the Dalai Lama's stables. In addition to looking after the animals, during the 13th Dalai Lama's time they also delivered personal messages for the Dalai Lama.
  • chidön [tib. phyi 'don] An outer dön for which the taxes and corvée labor services were provided to the government as opposed to the estate lord.
  • chitre [tib. phyi khral] The taxes that peasants paid to the government as opposed to their own lords (the inner tax).
  • chöba kön [tib. chos 'bag gyon] A phrase meaning "wearing a religious mask."
  • chödrö [tib. chos 'khrol] Official permission from one's lord to become a monk/nun. After receiving this, the person's obligation to his lord ceased so long as he/she remained a monk or nun. However, should one leave the monastic order, one reverted to original youth status as a subject of the estate/lord.
  • chögor [tib. chos skor] The ritual practiced by farmers to ensure a good harvest in which all the village families walk in a line around the village's fields carrying religious texts and statues.
  • chogyag [tib. phyogs rgyag] A kind of monks' competitive "sports" event (mostly jumping and throwing) done by dobdo monks.
  • chökang depa [tib. mchod khang sde pa] The monk in charge of the chapels in the Tsogchen (the main monastic assembly hall).
  • chökasum [tib. chol kha gsum] The traditional three regions/provinces that comprised all of Tibet: Central-Western Tibet, Amdo and Kham (tib. dbus gtsang, mdo med, mdo stod).
  • chöndze [tib. chos mdzad] The title of monks who made a payment or gave gifts to secure exemption from the normal "young monk" work obligations. There were tratsang chöndze and khamtsen chöndze.
  • chöntse [tib. chos mdzad] The title of monks who made a payment or gave gifts to secure exemption from the normal "young monk" work obligations.
  • Chöpön Khembo [tib. mchod dpon mkhan po] One of the three monk attendants of the Dalai Lama. He was in charge of religious offerings/rituals.
  • chöra [tib. chos ra] The special grove ("dharma grove") in monasteries where monks formally met to practice debating.
  • chöshi [tib. chos gshis] A "religious" estate held by a monastery or lama.
  • Chöpön Khembo [tib. mchod dpon mkhan po] One of the three monk attendants of the Dalai Lama. He was in charge of religious offerings/rituals.
  • chötsab [tib. chos tshab] A communist classification that literally means "the representative of religion." It referred to monks such as geshes who served the religious needs of the lord's class.
  • chösur [tib. chos zur] An ex-oracle/medium.
  • chüshug [tib. chos zhugs] The ceremony/initiation when monks first enter the monastery.
  • chüsi sungdrel [tib. chos srid zung sbrel] The dual system of secular and religious political administration linked together that was utilized by the traditional Tibetan government.
  • chöthog [tib. chos thog] A monastic "academic semester." A period of studying/debating in the monastic curriculum that is something like a term or semester. A period of time when monks were engaged in formal studying. There were eight chöthog in a year: the autumn chöthog (tönchö [tib. ston chos]) was for one month, the summer chöthog (yarchö [tib. dbyar chos]) was for one month, the winter chöthog (günchö [tib. dgun chos]) was for one month, and the spring chöthog (jichö [tib. dpyid chos]) was for one month. Then there were also two monthly chöra called dachö [tib. zla chos] and two 15 day chöra called jönga chöra [tib. bco lnga chos ra].
  • chu [ch. qu] 1. An administrative unit that was under a county but above a xiang [in Chinese; qu]. Use of this unit ended in the late 1980s throughout most of Tibet. 2. Water. 3. A body of water, e.g., a river.
  • chudrang [ch. qu zhang] The head of a chu [ch. qu].
  • chuke [tib. chu skad] The stylized yelling of young monks from a monastic roof that announces to the monastic community that there will be a distribution of alms in the prayer assembly that day.
  • chuma [tib. chu ma] People whose job it was to fetch water in monasteries or estates.
  • chupa [tib. phyu pa] The traditional Tibetan men and women's dress. It is like a robe that is tied at the waist. Both men and women wear such dresses, although they differ slightly in color and in style.
  • Chushigandru [tib. chu bzhi sgang drug] The anti-Chinese Khamba insurgency force in Tibet that began in 1957 in Lhasa and launched an uprising against the Chinese the following year. The name means, "four rivers and six mountain ranges," and refers to Eastern Tibet.
  • Chushi gandrug [tib. chu bzhi sgang drug] The anti-Chinese Khamba insurgency force in Tibet that began in 1957 in Lhasa and launched an uprising against the Chinese the following year. The name means, "four rivers and six mountain ranges," and refers to Eastern Tibet.
  • Chushü [tib. chu shur] The name of a town, district and county at the confluence of the Lhasa and Tsangpo Rivers.
  • Chushur [tib. chu shur] The name of a town, district and county at the confluence of the Lhasa and Tsangpo Rivers.
  • consultation grain [tib. gros 'bru] A kind of forced sale of grain that was sold to the government in theory after consultation between the xiang leaders and the people regarding the amount to be sold.

D

  • da biao [ch.] A representative.
  • dagam [tib. zla gam] The cloak monks wear at the prayer assembly sessions.
  • dagnyer [tib. bdag gnyer] A manager, usually in a commune/brigade.
  • dak bunglow [tib. dak bunglow] An inn or house for travellers along a route.
  • dakpo [tib. dwags po] A region in Southern Tibet.
  • da ming da fang [ch.] [tib. rgyas bshad rgyas gleng] A political jargon phrase meaning, 'Any viewpoint can be expressed'; a free airing of views.
  • Damji [tib. 'dam spyi] The governor of the Damshung [tib. 'dam gzhung] pasture region north of Lhasa.
  • Dartsedo [tib. dar rtse mdo ] The prefectural seat of Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan. Also known as Kangding and Tachienlu.
  • daso [tib. zla zo] A wooden container used as a measurement unit in some localities that was a little bit larger than a dre [tib. bre].
  • dayan [tib. da yang; ch. da yuan] A Chinese silver dollar that had the image of Yuan Shikai on its face. It was used by the Chinese government in Tibet in the 1950s because Tibetans did not accept Chinese paper currency.
  • dayang [tib. da yang; ch. da yuan] A Chinese silver dollar that had the image of Yuan Shikai on its face. It was used by the Chinese government in Tibet in the 1950s because Tibetans did not accept Chinese paper currency.
  • dayig ngagdrön [tib. da yig ngag sgron] A basic spelling book, a book that lists correct spellings.
  • dazhai [ch. da zhai] The campaign organized by Mao in 1963 for farmers to follow the example of the Dazhai village by practicing political activism and self-sacrifice.
  • dechang [tib. lde 'chang] A title some Labrang used for their managers/stewards.
  • dedön tsogpa [tib. bde don tshogs pa] The anti-Chinese émigré organization known as the "Tibet Welfare Association." It was started by Shakabpa, Gyalo Thondup and Lobsang Gyentsen in India in 1954.
  • dedön tshogpa [tib. bde don tshogs pa] The anti-Chinese émigré organization known as the "Tibet Welfare Association." It was started by Shakabpa, Gyalo Thondup and Lobsang Gyentsen in India in 1954.
  • Dekyi lingka [tib. bde skyid gling ga] The name of the British Indian government's Bureau Office in Lhasa. After Indian independence, the Indian government continued to operate the office using the same name until 1954 when it became an Indian government consulate.
  • Dekyilinga [tib. bde skyid gling ga] The name of the British Indian government's Bureau Office in Lhasa. After Indian independence, the Indian government continued to operate the office using the same name until 1954 when it became an Indian government consulate.
  • Dekyilingka [tib. bde skyid gling ga] The name of the British Indian government's Bureau Office in Lhasa. After Indian independence, the Indian government continued to operate the office using the same name until 1954 when it became an Indian government consulate.
  • Delerabten [tib. bde legs rab brtan] The name of an important Shigatse aristocratic family.
  • densa [tib. gdan sa] A "Monastic Seat," usually refers to the three Monastic Seats: Drepung, Sera and Ganden Monasteries.
  • densasum [tib. gdan sa gsum] The three "monastic seats": Drepung, Sera and Ganden.
  • denshu [tib. 1. gdan zhu, 2. gtan zhu] 1. Literally an invitation, but it also referred to the formal welcoming delegation that traditionally went to greet an important figure coming (or returning)to Lhasa. These welcome delegations generally consisted of monk and lay government officials and representatives of Drepung, Sera and Ganden Monasteries. 2. A long-life ceremony.
  • densung thangla magar [tib. bstan srung dang blangs dmag sgar] The Tibetan "Volunteer Army to Defend Religion." It was started in the summer of 1958 when the Khamba insurgents moved from Lhasa to Lhoka.
  • depön [tib. mda' dpon] A commander or general in charge of a regiment in the traditional Tibetan Army. If a regiment had only 500 troops, there was usually only one depön, but if there were 1,000 troops, there were usually two.
  • depön midrag [tib. sde dpon mi drag] The name of the highest social stratum among the Tibetan aristocracy.
  • derga [tib. sder ka] A type of fried cookie that was set out in tall stacks at the New Years' celebrations.
  • deship [tib. sde zhib] An office in the traditional Tibet government concerned with settling law cases.
  • dewashung [tib. sde ba gzhung] The name of the traditional Tibetan government.
  • Deyang [tib. sde yangs] One of the colleges in Drepung Monastery.
  • dharma grove [tib. chöra (chos ra)] The walled-in grove in monasteries (monastic colleges) where monks go to study/practice debating.
  • dingpön [tib. lding dpon] A non-commissioned military officer in the traditional Tibetan Army in charge of 25 soldiers (a platoon). It is an alternative name for Shengo in the army.
  • district commissioner [tib. rdzong dpon] The head of a dzong (district/county) in the traditional Tibetan government.
  • Ditrug [tib. sde drug] Name of a famous incarnate lama and his labrang or religious corporation.
  • diu [tib. rde'u] The traditional method of Tibetan arithmetic that uses a board and a variety of items like beans, sticks and stones.
  • dobdo [tib. ldab ldob] A mildly deviant type of fighting or "punk" monk who engaged in fighting and other unusual behaviors for monks in traditional Tibet's large monasteries.
  • dobtra [tib. ldob skra] Locks of hair that dobdo monks wear above and behind their ears as a symbol of being a dobdo.
  • doji [tib. mdo spyi] The governor-general of Eastern Tibet who was based in Chamdo. It is an abbreviation of dome jigyab [tib. mdo smad spyi khyab].
  • doji shape [tib. mdo spyi zhabs pad] A shape who served as the governor-general of Eastern Tibet based in Chamdo.
  • dome [tib. mdo smad] Eastern Tibet, Kham.
  • dome jigyab [tib. mdo smad spyi khyab] The governor-general of Eastern Tibet who was based in Chamdo. This position was often filled by a Kalön.
  • domba [tib. 'dom pa] A distance equal to the span of one's outstretched arms from fingertip to fingertip.
  • Dombor [tib. gdong por] The name of an aristocratic family. The family was also known as Tashi Lingpa [tib. bkris gling pa].
  • dongshu [tib. gdong zhu] A petition given to the Dalai Lama directly without prior permission. This was punishable by whipping.
  • dönkhatre [tib. 'don kha khral] An introductory text that new monks had to memorize.
  • donkhatre [tib. 'don kha khral] An introductory text that new monks had to memorize.
  • dotö [tib. mdo stod] The Amdo region of Eastern Tibet.
  • dön [tib. 'don] A volume measurement used for fields on aristocratic and religious manorial estates. One dön was equal to two gang.
  • donation grain [tib. rgyal gces gzhung 'bru; ch. gong liang] A kind of tax or forced sale collected by the government during the commune and mutual aid team eras. It was grain that families or brigades had to give the government out of "patriotism" without any payment. The amount was initially based on real yields, but later was set by the government based on presumed yields.
  • donggo [tib. btong sgo] An obligation to carry out a rite or prayer session in a monastery. For example, providing food and tea for all the monks in one's monastic college at a prayer assembly. Or it could be an obligation to give all the monks a set amount of grain or the donggo obligation that many monastery office holders had to do when they left office. Generally, donggos had associated endowments that monks used by turns to fund a donggo. The monk with the donggo obligation would lend out the capital of the endowment and pay for the event from the interest he collected. This was also used for ritual obligations of government offices like the Tseja Office.
  • dongke [tib. dong khal] 1. A local volume measurement equal to 1/8th of a kharu. 2. A volume measurement used in Tsang equal to about half of a khe.
  • dongpa [tib. dong pa] 1. A local volume measurement equal to 1/8th of a kharu. 2. A volume measurement used in Tsang equal to about half of a khe.
  • dönjö [tib. don gcod] 1. An official heading a (Tibetan) government bureau/office. 2. A Tibetan government bureau/office.
  • dönsangga [tib. 'don bzang ba] The category/group of monks who have especially good voices with respect to chanting prayers in the assembly halls.
  • doramba [tib. rdo rams pa] One of the lower types of geshe.
  • dotö [tib. mdo stod] The Amdo region of Eastern Tibet.
  • dotse [tib. rdo tshad] A currency unit in traditional Tibet that was equal to 50 ngüsang.
  • dowa [tib. do ba] A volume measurement used in Panam dzong.
  • dramnyen [tib. sgra snyan] The traditional Tibetan lute.
  • dre [tib. bre] A unit of traditional volume measurement [a container] in Tibet, 20 of which typically equaled one khe or bo [also a container], although in some areas there were only 16 dre in one khe.
  • drerampa [tib. 'bras rams pa] A type of lower rank geshe degree.
  • dri [tib. 'bri] A female yak.
  • Drichu [tib. 'bri chu] The Upper Yangtse River which formed the boundary between political Tibet and China in the 1930s and 1940s
  • drig [tib. sgrig] The official monastic community. The organization of monks with full membership in contrast to monks living in the monastery who were not official members with full rights.
  • Drigung [tib. 'bri gung] The Drigung Monastery.
  • Drigung gyamgön [tib. 'bri gung skyabs mgon] The head incarnate lama of the Drigung Monastery and the Drigung sect.
  • Drigung Labrang [tib. 'bri gung bla brang] The labrang of the lama heading the Drigung sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • dringpa [tib. 'bring pa] 1. The middle one. 2. The middle class stratum in the communist period in Tibet.
  • drongkhe [tib. grong khal] A local volume measurement that is smaller than the government standard "rukhe."
  • drongpön [tib. 'brog dpon] A nomad chief. The head of a nomad community/group.
  • Droma [tib. 1. sgrol ma, 2. gro ma] 1. The goddess Tara. 2. A woman's name. 3. A wild sweet potato.
  • droma dresi [tib. gro ma 'bras sil] A special dish consisting of sweetened rice, melted butter and wild sweet potatoes (gro ma).
  • Droma lhakang [tib. sgrol ma lha khang] The Temple of the Goddess Droma (Tara).
  • Drongdrag [tib. grong drag] The army regiment created during the 13th Dalai Lama's reign whose members were recruited from better families. The name "Drongdrag" means "better families."
  • drong khe [tib. grong khal] A volume measurement used in Panam.
  • drönyer [tib. mgron gnyer] A steward, administrative manager, aide.
  • drönyerchemmo [tib. mgron gnyer chen mo] 1. The Dalai Lama's Lord Chamberlain. He was one of the most important monk officials in the Tibetan government and was the head of the Tse ga, the Dalai Lama's secretariat. 2. A high economic managerial position in some large monasteries.
  • droso [tib. gro so (phye mar)] The Tibetan New Year's ceremonial offering box that consists of two sections. One section was filled with a mixture of tsamba and butter, and the other with popped grain.
  • droso-chemar [tib. gro so phye mar] The Tibetan New Year's ceremonial offering box that consists of two sections. One section was filled with a mixture of tsamba and butter, and the other with popped grain.
  • druka [tib. gru kha] A ferry port.
  • drukha [tib. gru kha] A ferry port.
  • drundeba [tib. 'bru 'ded pa] The monks who go out to collect the grain loans that have been given out by labrangs, monasteries and their sub-units.
  • drungja [tib. drung ja] The daily meeting of Tibetan government monk officials (tsedrung) at which tea was provided. However, unlike the collective meetings of monks in monasteries, there was no collective chanting of prayers at the Drungja. The event started at around 9 a.m. and lasted for about an hour. When the Tse ga (the Dalai Lama's Secretariat) was in the Potala, it was held there, and when it was in the Norbulinga Summer Palace, it was held there. All monk officials in Lhasa were expected to attend.
  • drungkor [tib. drung 'khor] Lay (aristocratic) officials in the traditional Tibetan government (in contrast to the monk officials).
  • drungtsab [tib. drung tshab] An acting Drunyichemmo.
  • drungtsi [tib. drung rtsis] The drunyichemmo and the tsipön.
  • drungtsigye [tib. drung rtsis brgyad] The four drunyichemmo (trunyichemmo) and the four tsipön. These eight officials were often called to meet with the Kashag to discuss important issues. They also presided over the Tibetan government's various assemblies.
  • drunyer [tib. 'bru gnyer] A steward (nyerpa) in charge of grain.
  • drunyichemmo [tib. drung yig chen mo] The title of the four heads of the Yigtsang Office (Ecclesiastics Office).
  • düchen [tib. bsdus chen] The third class in the düdra monastic curriculum.
  • düdra [tib. bsdus grwa] The first curriculum in Buddhist dialectics in Gelugpa monasteries. It is an abbreviated course in logic (tib. tsema [tshad ma]). There are 6 classes and monks ideally study one class each year. The first class is khatog garmar [tib. kha dog dkar dmar], followed by düdring [tib. bsdus 'bring], then düchen [tib. bsdus chen], then tagrik [tib. rtags rig], and then finally lurik [tib. blu rig].
  • düdring [tib. bsdus 'bring] The second class in the düdra monastic curriculum.
  • düjung [tib. dud chung] Literally "small smoke." A type of peasant/serf/miser in traditional Tibetan society that belonged to an estate/lord, but did not hold tax-base land (tib. khral rten). They usually were poor and survived by working for others or leasing land from treba (taxpayer) households or sometimes from their estate.
  • dukhang [tib. 'du khang] An assembly hall in a monastery.
  • dülwa [tib. 'dul ba] The section of the Kangyur that lists monastic rules of conduct.
  • dung gyaling [tib. dung rgya gling] The large trumpet-horn and the clarinet-type wind instrument both of which are played by monks specializing in instruments in the monastery.
  • durgang [tib. 'dur rkang] A type of tax-base land that required its owner to provide corvée carrying animals.
  • dütrang [ch.] The head/leader of an office.
  • dzadrung [tib. rdza drung] Abbr. Dzasa and Trunyichemmo. Frequently it refers to the two specific officials (Dzasa Künsangtse and Trunyichemmo Lhautara) who were sent from Yadong in 1951 to negotiate the 17-Point Agreement in Beijing.
  • dzasa [tib. rdza sa] 1. A high rank in the Tibetan government. 2. A top manager-like official for the labrang of important incarnate lamas, especially those who in the past had served as regents of Tibet.
  • dzindra [tib. 'dzing grwa] A class or grade in a school or in the monastic curriculum of study.
  • dzo [tib. mdzo] A cross between a yak and a cow/ox.
  • dzomo [tib. mdzo mo] A female dzo (that is a cross between a yak and a cow/ox).
  • dzong [tib. rdzong] A district in the traditional Tibetan governmental structure. This large administrative unit was headed by one or two district heads (tib. dzongpön [rdzong dpon]) appointed by the Tibetan government. Typically there was one lay official and one monk official who were jointly sent from Lhasa for three year terms. They were responsible for collecting taxes and adjudicating disputes in their district. These dzong were equivalent to counties (ch. xian) in the current Chinese system of administration.
  • dzongkyel [tib. rdzong skyel] The corvée transportation tax requiring peasants to transport goods from one dzong to another.
  • dzongpön [tib. rdzong dpon] The head of a dzong in the traditional Tibetan government.
  • dzongshi [tib. rdzong gzhis] A government estate; an estate that belonged to a dzong (district).

E

  • Ecclesiastic Office [tib. yigtsang (yig tshang)] The highest office dealing with monastic and religious affairs in the traditional Tibetan government. It was headed by 4 fourth rank monk officials called Trunyichemmo. The senior trunyichemmo was called Ta Lama.
  • Enchöndze [tib. dben chos mdzad] A monastic term for higher status monks that included chöndze, abbots, shungshab (monk officials), ex-umdze, ex-jiso, ex-phodrang depa and ex-chandzö.
  • epa [tib. e pa] Miser conscripted as a corvée tax to work for the Tibetan government as a scribe copying documents.

F

  • fen [ch.] 1/100th of a yuan; one cent.

G

  • ga [tib. 'gag] 1. Abbreviation of Tsega, the Secretariat Office of the Dalai Lama.
  • gaa [tib. 'gag] 1. Abbreviation of Tsega, the Secretariat Office of the Dalai Lama.
  • Gadang [tib. ga dang] The army regiment whose troops were recruited from the Shigatse area. "Ga" refers to the third letter of the Tibetan alphabet.
  • gadrukpa [tib. gar phrug pa] The ceremonial dance troupe of the Dalai and Panchen Lamas. Young boys were conscripted via a corvée levy from serf/miser peasant families who were compensated for the loss of their son by a reduction in their other taxes. Such boys left their families and moved either to Lhasa or Shigatse.
  • gadrung [tib. bka' drung] Lay officials who worked as administrative aides/secretaries to the Kalön of the Kashag.
  • gag [tib. 'gag] The Secretariat Office of either the Dalai Lama (tib. tse gag [rtse 'gag]) or the Regent (tib. shö gag [zhol 'gag]).
  • gagpa [tib. 'gag pa] An official of the "ordinary" rank (tib. dkyus ma) who served as a bodyguard for the Kalön and Sitsab. They did not carry guns, but carried a whip and preceded the ministers when they were traveling outside the office.
  • Gampala [tib. gam pa la] The mountain pass that separates Tsang and Central Tibet (Ü). It overlooks the Yarlung Tsangpo River and Chushul.
  • Ganden Ngamjö [tib. dga' ldan lnga mchod] The holiday commemorating the death of Tsongkapa. It falls on the 25th of the 10th Tibetan lunar month.
  • Ganden Photrang [tib. dga' ldan pho brang] The official name of the traditional Tibetan government that was founded by the 5th Dalai Lama in 1642.
  • Ganden Tripa [tib. dga' ldan khri pa] The chief abbot of Ganden Monastery. He is considered to hold the throne of Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect.
  • gandrön [tib. bka' mgron] The position of aide to the Kashag that was filled by lay aristocratic officials.
  • gandru [tib. skar 'bru] Grain paid to commune members by a production team/brigade in accordance with the number of work points they earned through their work.
  • gang [tib. rkang] The basic land measurement unit for tax obligations in the traditional Tibetan society. One gang was considered a full tax unit of land. A gang was measured by volume, specifically by the amount of seed (sönkhe) that could be sown. This amount was not standardized and the size of one gang varied under different lords.
  • gangdro lagdön [tib. rkang 'gro lag 'don] Two types of taxes: those that require sending corvée people and riding/carrying animals to work, and those that involve sending goods-in-kind or money.
  • gangdro langdön [tib. rkang 'gro lag 'don] Two types of taxes: those that require sending corvée people and riding/carrying animals to work, and those that involve sending goods-in-kind or money.
  • gantsang [tib. 'gan gtsang] The new economic system that replaced the communal system in the early 1980s. It literally means "complete responsibility" (system). Under this system, the commune/brigade's land was divided among individual households under a long-term lease arrangement and households were given complete responsibility over their own production.
  • gantshang [tib. 'gan gtsang] The new economic system that replaced the communal system in the early 1980s. It literally means "complete responsibility" (system). Under this system, the commune/brigade's land was divided among individual households under a long-term lease arrangement and households were given complete responsibility over their own production.
  • gao [tib. ga'u] 1. A small box/pendant for keeping religious objects. 2. A small jewelery box worn by women as a necklace. 3 A small box worn on the hair of lay officials.
  • garma [tib. skar ma] A "work point."
  • garpön [tib. gar dpon] The head of the gadrukpa [tib. gar phrug pa] ceremonial dance troop of the Dalai Lama.
  • Gashag [tib. bka' shag] The highest office in the traditional Tibetan government. It usually consisted of 4 Kalön who collectively made decisions.
  • gashib [tib. bka' zhib] A government investigation committee.
  • gatsab [tib. bka' tshab] An acting Kalön.
  • gegen [tib. dge rgan] 1. Teacher in a school. 2. In monastic settings it also refers to an adult monk who acted as a guardian to a younger monk. In such cases, the younger monk typically lived in the gegen's apartment (shag). In monasteries, however, it could also mean a real teacher, or the monk who served as the guarantor for a new monk.
  • gegö [tib. dge skos] The main disciplinary official in a monastic college (tratsang).
  • gelong [tib. dge slong] A monk who has taken the full set of vows.
  • gembo [tib. rgan bo] A village headman. Such headmen were responsible for organizing the different households to pay the village's taxes in-kind and labor. They also played a role in settling minor disputes and were the link between the village and the higher authorities. In some areas they were elected by the village households, while in others the position was hereditary or appointed.
  • gempo [tib. rgan po] A village headman. Such headmen were responsible for organizing the different households to pay the village's taxes in-kind and labor. They also played a role in settling minor disputes and were the link between the village and the higher authorities. In some areas they were elected by the village households, while in others the position was hereditary or appointed.
  • gengo [tib. rgan 'go] The head of the dobdo's organization when they did "sports" competitions.
  • genda [tib. rgan bdag] A senior student placed in charge of other students.
  • gentsang [tib. 'gan gtsang] The new economic system that replaced the communal system in the early 1980s. It literally means "complete responsibility" (system). Under this new system, the commune/brigade's land was divided among individual households under a long-term lease arrangement and households were given complete responsibility over their own production.
  • gepo [tib. dge po] A minor official on an estate; something like a headman.
  • gerpa [sger pa] 1. Aristocrats, aristocratic families. 2. Private students in the government's Tse labdra monk official training school.
  • gertshab [tib. sger tshab] An agent of an estate holder/lord, for example, an estate manager.
  • geshe [tib. dge shes] An advanced degree earned by scholar monks.
  • getsül [tib. dge tshul] 1. The novice vows that Buddhist monks and nuns take. 2. A monk who has taken such vows.
  • geyog [tib. dge g.yog] Monk assistant to the disciplinary official (gegö) in monasteries.
  • gidru [tib. dge phrug] 1. Student. 2. Disciple. 3. Commonly the name for monks living with a gegen or teacher. These are more like wards than real disciples.
  • GMD [ch. abbr. Guomindang] The Nationalist Party of Chiang Kaishek.
  • gödö [tib. gos stod] The upper brocade vest worn by monk officials in the Tibetan government.
  • Gomang [tib. sgo mang] One of the large colleges in Drepung Monastery.
  • gombo (gömbo), gombowa [tib. mgon po, mgon po ba] 1. The protector deity Gombo (Mahakala). 2. The monks who do the prayers to propitiate protector deities.
  • gombokhang [tib. mgon po khang] The chapel of the protector deity Gombo.
  • gömbokhang [tib. mgon po khang] The chapel of the protector deity Gombo.
  • gomchor [tib. sgo mchor] The area outside of the monastic assembly hall that is supported by tall pillars.
  • gongja [tib. 1. kong phyag, 2. dgong ja] 1. The manager of Kongpo Khamtsen in Drepung Monastery. 2. The evening prayer chanting meeting (in monasteries).
  • gönkhang [tib. mgon khang] A chapel devoted to a protector deity.
  • gönyer [tib. dgon gnyer] A monk caretaker of a chapel or temple.
  • göphö jusur [tib. bgos phud bcu zur] The tenth of a share of the property settlement in a law case that went to the judge.
  • gorchakpa [tib. skor 'chag pa] A low level worker in Lhasa who patrolled the streets and delivered messages/notices for the Nangtsesha (tib. snang rtse shag) office of the Lhasa "mayor" (tib. mipön).
  • gormo [tib. sgor mo] The basic currency unit (dollar, rupee, pound).
  • grain quota tax [tib. tshong 'bru; ch. shang ping liang] A government-set quota of grain that villages (and in turn households) had to sell to the government at a government set price.
  • Guger Yigtsang [tib. sku sger yig tshang] Private Secretariat. The office of the private secretary.
  • günchö or günchö chemmo [tib. dgun chos or dgun chos chen mo] The month long monastic semester that took place in winter.
  • gung [tib. gung] A high title in the Tibetan government.
  • gusho [tib. sku zhabs] An honorific term used before names meaning something like, "honorable sir."
  • gusung [tib. sku srung] 1. Bodyguard. 2. The "Bodyguard" Regiment of the Dalai Lama that was also known as the Kadang (tib. ka dang) Regiment. 2. The Bodyguard Regiment of the Panchen Lama.
  • gusung magar [tib. sku srung dmag sgar] The Bodyguard (tib. ka dang) Regiment.
  • gutor [tib. dgu gtor] The ritual religious dance (cham) done on the 29th day of the 12th Tibetan lunar month to clear out obstacles and evil influences.
  • gya [tib. rgya] A khamtsen in Loseling College.
  • gyab [tib. g.yab] A roof-like projection or verandah located on the top of a house.
  • gyabden [tib. skyabs rten] A gift given to a judge or official who was hearing a case to ask his help in settling it in one's favor. Also a gift to an official when asking him to help one get a job.
  • gyabdo [tib. rgyab rdo] A sports competition of dobdo monks that involved throwing a large stone backwards over their heads to see who threw it the furthest.
  • gyabtho [tib. skyabs tho] A letter that includes a donation and a request for a specific prayer to be read at the start of the monk's joint prayer chanting in the Mönlam or monastic prayer assemblies.
  • gyagpön [tib. brgya dpon tho] A military officer in charge of a unit of 100 soldiers.
  • gyajong [tib. rgya sbyong] The Gyajong or "Chinese trained" Regiment was created after Gyurme Namgyal came into power in 1948 and consisted of 3,000 Tibetan soldiers. One thousand of these troops became the Trapchi Regiment. The other two thousand Gyajong troops became the Shigatse and Gyantse Regiments in Tsang.
  • gyakag [tib. rgya khag] A monk guard or bodyguard.
  • gyaling [tib. rgya gling] A clarinet type of wind instrument played by monks in religious services.
  • gyama [tib. rgya ma] A unit of weight equal to one jin [ch.] (1.1 lbs).
  • Gyambumgang [tib. rgya 'bum sgang] A famous monk official of the Trunyichemmo rank.
  • gyamo ngüchu [tib. rgya mo rngul chu] The Salween River (in Kham)
  • gyamo ngülchu [tib. rgya mo rngul chu] The Salween River (in Kham)
  • gyapön [tib. brgya dpon] 1. An officer in the traditional Tibetan Army who was in charge of a gyashog or unit of 100 troops. 2. A minor official on an estate.
  • gyarshib [tib. skyar zhib; ch. fucha] 1. Reinvestigation. 2. The reinvestigation campaign that started in 1960 to re-examine the initial 1959 classifications of people into different class categories.
  • gyashog [tib. brgya shog] A unit in the traditional Tibetan Army consisting of 100 soldiers.
  • gyatso [tib. rgya mtsho] 1. An area in the Tsang region of Central Tibet. 2. Ocean.
  • gyatso gembo [tib. rgya mtsho rgan po] 1. A local official higher than a village gembo (headman) because he dealt with taxes for multiple villages in a dzong. 2. An area in the Tsang region of Central Tibet.
  • gye [tib. 'gye] Alms given to monks.
  • gyeme chime [tib. skyes med 'chi med] A system of leasing animals to nomads wherein the nomads had to pay a fixed amount of butter each year regardless of whether the number of animals increased or decreased.
  • Gyenlo [tib. gyan log] One of the two major revolutionary organizations extant during the Cultural Revolution in Tibet. It is sometimes translated in English as the "Rebels." It was the less "establishment" and more leftist oriented group.
  • Gyenlog [tib. gyan log] One of the two major revolutionary organizations extant during the Cultural Revolution in Tibet. It is sometimes translated in English as the "Rebels." It was the less "establishment" and more leftist oriented group.
  • Gyerong [tib. rgyal rong] A Khamtsen in Drepung Monastery.
  • Gyeytong Jigyaba [tib. 'gyed gtong spyi khyab pa] The monk in charge of alms.
  • gyetor [tib. brgyad gtor] The government ceremony held on the eighth day of the third lunar month in the Potala Palace. It was the day when officials formally switched from their winter outfits to their summer ones.
  • gyetrü [tib. rgyal sprul] Incarnations who have been regents in previous incarnations.
  • Gyetse luding [tib. skyed tshal klu lding] It is considered respectful to welcome [tib. phebs bsu] visiting high officials some ways outside of Lhasa, much as we in the U.S. would go to meet someone at the airport. Gyetse luding was the standard reception site for this. It was located on the main road west of Lhasa between Drepung and the Norbulinga palace.
  • gyewo [tib. sgye bo] In some areas, the assistants to the work supervisor (lepön). In other areas the same as a work supervisor.
  • gyeyab [tib. rgyal yab] The father of the Dalai Lama.
  • gyorpön [tib. skyor dpon] The monastic official who functions as the main teacher in the Dharma Grove (chöra) where monks go to study debating and logic.
  • gyöship [tib. gyod zhib] A new office that was created to handle legal cases that were mainly civil disputes.
  • Gyüdö [tib. rgyud stod] The Upper Tantric Monastic College in Lhasa.
  • Gyüme [tib. rgyud smad] The Lower Tantric Monastic College in Lhasa.
  • Gyümey [tib. rgyud smad] The Lower Tantric Monastic College in Lhasa.
  • gyünle [tib. rgyun las] A standing committee.
  • Gyüpa [tib. rgyud pa] The two Tantric Colleges in Lhasa: the Upper Tantric College and the Lower Tantric College.
  • gyüshi [tib. rgyud bzhi] The name of the four basic Tibetan medical texts.
  • Gyütö [tib. rgyud stod] The Upper Tantric Monastic College in Lhasa.

H

  • Hamdong Khamtsen [tib. har gdong khang tshan] The name of a residential unit (khamtsen) found in both Drepung and Sera Monasteries.
  • hat [tib. zhwa mo; ch. dai mao] 1. A regular hat, cap. 2. A common political slang term (label) used for people who were classified as class enemies or reactionaries. It was used politically as, "They put the hat on him," or "They never took his hat off."
  • HH [tib. kun mdun] Abbr.: His Holiness (the Dalai Lama).
  • Horji [tib. hor spyi] The governor-general of Northern Tibet.
  • hragdu gyepa [tib. hrag bsdus rgyas pa] The enlarged abbreviated assembly of the traditional Tibetan government. It included the trungtsigye, the abbots and ex-abbots of Sendregasum and representatives from all the government ranks.
  • human lease (serf/miser) [tib. mi bogs)] A status wherein a peasant "leased" his/her "freedom of movement" from his/her lord to live and work where he/she wanted. Human lease peasants still belonged to their lord and were required to pay an annual fee (human lease fee) to the lord. The children of human lease peasants inherited their status from parents of the same sex (i.e., sons of a male belonged to their father's lord).

I

  • inner tax [tib. nangtre] The tax that miser/serfs paid to their lord in contrast to the "outer tax" that they paid to the government.
  • itrug [tib. e phug] Young boys conscripted by the Tibetan government as a corvée tax to become government scribes.

J

  • Jadang [tib. ja dang] One of the regiments in the traditional Tibetan Army.
  • jagdü [tib. ljags mdud] A thin ribbon/scarf that lamas and oracles give to people for protection.
  • jagsam [tib. lcags sam] The major ferry port across the Yarlungtsangpo River at Chushul.
  • jama [tib. ja ma] The monk(s) in charge of a monastery's kitchen.
  • jamjung [tib. lcam chung] A title and term of address for younger women/wives of aristocratic families.
  • jamkusho [tib. lcam sku zhabs] A title [and term of address] for older wives of middle level aristocratic officials.
  • jamthu [tib. 'jam thug] A porridge made by adding tsamba to tea to make a loose paste.
  • Jang [tib. 'jang] 1. The area called Jang. 2. The special winter debating session for monks that was held annually in Jang.
  • Jang günchö [tib. 'jang dgun chos] The special winter debating session for monks that was held annually in the area called Jang.
  • jayog [tib. ja g.yog] Assistant to the Jama (The monk who is in charge of a monastery's kitchen).
  • Je [tib. byes] One of the largest colleges (tratsang) in Sera Monastery. It was the college of Reting Rimpoche.
  • jeda [tib. dpyad brda] A document settling a dispute or law case in the traditional Tibetan government.
  • jedrung [tib. rje drung] Title of monk officials from aristocratic families.
  • jen [tib. can] A class enemy or a representative of a serf owner.
  • Jenkhentsisum [tib. gcen mkhan rtsis gsum] Abbr.: The titles of the three heads of the major anti-Chinese émigré group in India during the 1954-59 period: "Jen" refers to the "older brother" (the older brother of the Dalai Lama, Gyalo Thondup), "khen" refers to the monk official of the khenjung rank (Lobsang Gyentsen), and "tsi" refers to the lay official of the tsipön rank (Shakabpa). "Sum" means the three (of them).
  • jensal [tib. spyan bsal] A favorite (commonly used for the powerful favorites of the 13th Dalai Lama).
  • jensel [tib. spyan bsal] A favorite (commonly used for the powerful favorites of the 13th Dalai Lama).
  • Jey [tib. byes] The name of one of the largest colleges in Sera Monastery. It was the college of Reting Rimpoche.
  • jichö chemmo [tib. dpyid chos chen mo] The month long monastic term/semester that occurs in spring.
  • Jidzong [tib. spyi rdzong] Refers to Shigatse dzong as well as the 2 heads of the Shigatse dzong while the Panchen Lama was in exile. After he returned in 1952, the 2 heads of Shigatse dzong were just called Dzongpön.
  • jigen [tib. spyi rgan] A senior khamtsen official who ranks above the khamtsen gegen.
  • Jigje [tib. 'jigs byed] The Yamantaka text.
  • Jigje mahe [tib. 'jigs byed ma he] A protective talisman from the protector deity Yamantaka.
  • Jigyab khembo [tib. spyi khyab mkhan po] The highest monk official in the traditional Tibetan government. He was the head of the monk official segment, the Dalai Lama's household and the Dalai Lama's private storeroom [tib. dzübug].
  • Jigyab khempo [tib. spyi khyab mkhan po] The highest monk official in the traditional Tibetan government. He was the head of the monk official segment, the Dalai Lama's household and the Dalai Lama's private storeroom [tib. dzbug].
  • jin [ch.] 1.1 pounds (half of a kilogram).
  • jinda [tib. spyin bdag] A patron or sponsor, usually of a monastery, ritual ceremony or religious teaching. This term is also used as a title for famous patrons. For example, Andrutsang Gombo Tashi, the head of Chushigandru, was commonly referred to as Andru Jinda because he had sponsored major religious ceremonies.
  • jindag [tib. spyin bdag] A patron or sponsor, usually of a monastery, ritual ceremony or religious teaching. This term is also used as a title for famous patrons. For example, Andrutsang Gombo Tashi, the head of Chushigandru, was commonly referred to as Andru Jindag because he had sponsored major religious ceremonies.
  • jiso [tib. spyi bso] The head managers/stewards of monasteries as a whole, especially the large Gelugpa monasteries like Sera and Drepung.
  • jitso labdra [tib. spyi tshogs slob grwa] "Society School." A new school jointly started by the Chinese and the Tibetan Government in 1952 that was open to students from all classes in society. Thus the name.
  • Jogpori [tib. lcags po ri] A famous hill in Lhasa on top of which was one of the two traditional Tibetan medical colleges.
  • Jogtang [tib. lcog steng] A famous monk official who became an important Trunyichemmo.
  • Jokhang [tib. jo khang] A most famous temple in Lhasa that houses a holy statue of the Buddha. It is often used to mean the Tsuglagang Temple of which it is a part.
  • Jola [tib. jo lags] 1. A term of address for elder brothers. 2. A term of address for older males in general.
  • Jönga Chöpa [tib. bco lnga mchod pa] The festival on the 15th of the first Tibetan month when butter sculptures were exhibited.
  • jubön [tib. bcu dpon] 1. A minor officer in charge of a squad of 10 troops in the traditional Tibetan Army. 2. A minor official.
  • jugpön [tib. bcu dpon] 1. A minor officer in charge of a squad of 10 troops in the traditional Tibetan Army. 2. A minor official.
  • junpo [tib. bcu 'bo] A 'bo volume measurement [a container] that was smaller than the official 'bo as it only contained 10-15 dre instead of 20.
  • junqu [ch.] Military headquarters.
  • jupön [tib. bcu dpon] 1. A minor military officer in charge of a squad of ten troops in the traditional Tibetan Army. 2. A minor official.
  • jushog [tib. bcu shog] A unit or group of ten, e.g., a squad of ten soldiers in the traditional Tibetan Army.

K

  • kadang [tib. ka dang] The "Ka" Army Regiment. In the traditional Tibetan Army, regiments were numbered alphabetically rather than numerically. Consequently, the Kadang regiment refers to the 1st Regiment since "ka" is the first letter of the Tibetan alphabet. It was also called the Bodyguard (Kusung [tib. sku srung]) Regiment of the Dalai Lama.
  • kabjupa [tib. skabs bcu pa] One of the lower types of geshe whose exam was in the chöra.
  • kadrung [tib. bka' drung] Aide/secretary to the Kashag. There were usually two of these, both aristocratic lay officials. Their job was to assist the Kalöns, and their usual work involved writing whatever letters, documents, orders, and recommendations the Kashag sent to the Dalai Lama and other offices. Their office was called the Dröndrungkhang [tib. mgron drung khang].
  • Kalön [tib. bka' blon] One of the heads of the Kashag [bka' shag] or Council of Ministers. There were usually 4 Kalön, although in the 1950s the number increased at various times to 6 or 7. The Kalön ministers made decisions collectively, and had no fixed term of office.
  • Kalön lama [tib. bka' blon bla ma] A Kalön who was a monk official. Usually there was only one.
  • Kalön tripa [tib. bka' blon khri pa] The senior or leading Kalön in the Kashag.
  • kamtsen [tib. khang tshan] A residential unit (dormitory) in a monastery.
  • kandrön [tib. bka' mgron] Administrative aide to the Kashag. There were usually two or three of these, all of whom were aristocratic lay officials.
  • kang [tib. rkang] The basic land measurement unit for tax obligations in traditional Tibetan society. One gang was considered a full tax unit of land. A gang was measured by volume, specifically by the amount of seed (sönkhe) that could be sown. This amount was not standardized and the size of one gang varied under different lords.
  • kangdro [tib. rkang 'gro] The general name for corvée labor taxes in traditional Tibet.
  • kangyur [tib. bka' 'gyur] One of the main Buddhist religious texts. It consists of 108 volumes.
  • Kapshöba [tib. ka shod pa] A famous Tibetan aristocrat who was involved in many important political intrigues.
  • Kapshöpa [tib. ka shod pa] A famous Tibetan aristocrat who was involved in many important political intrigues.
  • karma [tib. skar ma] 1. The smallest currency unit (a copper coin) in the traditional Tibetan currency system. Ten karma equaled 1 sho. 2. A work point in post-1959 Tibet. 3. A person's name.
  • kashag [tib. bka' shag] The highest office in the traditional Tibetan government. It usually consisted of 4 ministers (Kalön) who collectively made decisions. It is sometimes called the Council of Ministers in English.
  • kasur [tib. bka' zur] A former or ex-Kalön.
  • katsab [tib. bka' tshab] An acting Kalön.
  • katsara [tib. kha tsha ra] A person of mixed Tibetan and Nepalese heritage.
  • ke [tib. khal] A traditional volume measurement used for measuring grain in traditional Tibetan society. Sizes of this unit varied somewhat, but the official government khe (called mkhar ru or bstan dzin mkha ru) weighed about 28-31 pounds for barley. It was universally used to convey the size of fields. For example, a field said to be 10 khe in size meant that 10 khe of seed could be sown on that field.
  • kelen [tib. skal len] A special right allowing certain monks to take their share of alms outside of the prayer assembly hall. This privilege meant they did not have to attend the prayer session to get their alms.
  • khadang [tib. kha dang] The "Kha" Army Regiment. In the traditional Tibetan Army, regiments were numbered alphabetically rather than numerically. Consequently, the Kadang Regiment refers to the 2nd Regiment since "kha" is the second letter of the Tibetan alphabet. It was also known as the Trapchi Regiment (tib. grwa bzhi) because its regimental headquarters were located in Trapchi, an area just below Sera Monastery.
  • khagön [tib. kha gon] The outer red coat worn by lay officials above the 5th rank in the traditional Tibetan government.
  • Khamba [tib. khams pa] A person from the Kham region, a Tibetan from the Khamba (Khampa) sub-cultural group.
  • Khampa [tib. khams pa] A person from the Kham region, a Tibetan from the Khampa (Khamba) sub-cultural group.
  • khamtsen [tib. khang tshan] A monastic residential unit in which monks from specific geographic areas lived. These were corporate entities with property and internal officials. Some large khamtsen had smaller subordinate units called mi tshan. Khamtsen were part of tratsang (colleges). For example, Hamdong Khamtsen was part of Gomang College in Drepung Monastery.
  • khamtsen gegen [tib. khang tshan dge rgan] The head official of a khamtsen.
  • khangnyer [tib. khang gnyer] A manager/superintendent of a house/building.
  • khangyö khangchung [tib. khang yod khang chung] A person in charge of tenants, something like an apartment manager.
  • kharu [tib. mkhar ru] A wooden container that was the official Tibetan government volume measurement used for measuring grain. Its contents weighed about 28-31 pounds for barley. It was used to convey the size of fields, for example, a field said to be 10 kharu in size meant that 10 kharu of seed could be sown on that field.
  • khata [tib. kha btags] A Tibetan ceremonial scarf given to lamas, visitors, etc.
  • khatog garmar [tib. kha dog dkar dmar] The first class or stage in the monastic düdra curriculum.
  • khe [tib. khal] A traditional volume measurement used for measuring grain in traditional Tibetan society. Sizes of this unit varied somewhat, but the official government khe (called mkhar ru or bstan dzin mkha ru) weighed about 28-31 pounds for barley. It was used to convey the size of fields. For example, a field said to be 10 khe in size meant that 10 khe of seed could be sown on that field.
  • khegya gegen [tib. khas 'khyag dge rgan] The monk who stands as the guarantor for a monk.
  • khembo [tib. mkhan po] Abbot of a monastery or monastic college.
  • khembo tripa [tib. mkhan po khri pa] The most senior abbot in a committee of abbots such as the Laji.
  • khempo [tib. mkhan po] The abbot of a monastery or monastic college.
  • khempo tripa [tib. mkhan po khri pa] The most senior abbot in a committee of abbots such as the Laji.
  • khenche [tib. mkhan che] A high monk official of the third rank in the traditional Tibetan government.
  • Khendrönlosum [tib. mkhan mgron lo gsum] The three monk officials (mkhan chung, rtse mgron, and lo rtsa ba) sent to Beijing during the Qing Dynasty by the Tibetan government to teach the Qing royal family written Tibetan so they could read prayer books. They also performed rituals for the royal family. After the Qing dynasty fell, the Tibetan government continued to station three such monk officials in Beijing where they functioned as a Bureau Office for the Tibetan government in China.
  • khenjung [tib. mkhan chung] A rank/title for monk officials that was equal to 4th rank (tib. rim bzhi) officials in the lay aristocratic side of the traditional government bureaucracy.
  • Khyungram [tib. khyung ram] A famous aristocratic lay official during the time of the 13th Dalai Lama.
  • kongja [tib. kong phyag] The chabu (manager) of Kongpo khamtsen.
  • könyer [tib. dkon gnyer] The monk caretaker of a chapel/temple.
  • könyerpön [tib. dkon gnyer dpon] The chief monk caretaker of the Jokhang Temple.
  • korchagpa [tib. skor 'chag pa] A low level government worker who patrolled the streets and delivered messages/notices for the office of the mayor [tib. mi dpon] of Lhasa.
  • kudrak [tib. sku drag] 1. A member of the lay aristocracy. 2. Title for government lay and monk officials. 3. A name occasionally used for the top leaders/officials in a monastery.
  • kujar [tib. sku bcar] 1. A favorite. Someone who works/stays in the close presence of another important figure. 2. The name commonly used for Kumbela (tib. kun 'phel lags), the favorite of the 13th Dalai Lama who became politically powerful during the later period of the 13th Dalai Lama's reign.
  • Kundeling [tib. kun bde gling] 1. A famous incarnate lama whose lineage served as Regent of Tibet. The Lhasa monastery of Kundeling Rimpoche.
  • kungö [tib. sku ngo] An honorific term of address for aristocratic officials. It is something like, "Your Excellency."
  • kungre [ch. kung she] People's commune.
  • kungshe [ch. kung she] People's commune.
  • Künphel [tib. kun 'phel] The name of the favorite of the 13th Dalai Lama who became politically powerful during the later period of the 13th Dalai Lama's reign.
  • kurim [tib. sku rim] A religious prayer service for monks.
  • Kusho [tib. sku zhabs] A respectful term of address usually for monks, but also to show respect to a layman.
  • kusung [tib. sku srung] 1. Bodyguard. 2. The "Ka" Army regiment or the Bodyguard Regiment of the Dalai Lama. In the traditional Tibetan Army, regiments were numbered alphabetically rather than numerically. Consequently, the Kadang Regiment refers to the 1st Regiment since "ka" is the first letter of the Tibetan alphabet.
  • kuyön [tib. sku yon] Money paid to monks for performing rituals.
  • kyamgön [tib. skyabs mgo] Savior, protector. Used with Lama's name, e.g., Litang Kyamgön, Kyamgön Rimpoche.
  • kyangdo [tib. rkyangs rdo] A stone throwing distance competition that was one of the events in the dobdo monk's chogyag sports competition. The stone weighed a little less than a pound and was held with 2 fingers and the thumb in front. The dobdo ran from half way up the ramp and then threw it at the end of the platform.
  • kyentsel luding [tib. skyed tshal klu lding] A place about a half mile west of the Norbulinga Palace where arriving visitors traditionally were welcomed/greeted by officials from Lhasa.
  • Kyichog Kundü [tib. skyid phyogs kun 'dus] The name of the (political) party started by Lungshar after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama. It translates roughly as, "all joined together in happiness."
  • kyidu [tib. skyid sdug] An association, club.
  • Kyitöpa [tib. skyid stod pa] The name of the house in Lhasa where the Guomindang government's offices and school were located.

L

  • la (-la) [tib. lags] An honorific term used after names. For example, Dorjela or Dorje-la or Dorje la.
  • labdra [tib. slob grwa] School.
  • labor unit [tib. las mi ru khag; ch. jiu yezhigong] A type of detention camp. Some prisoners in the 1959-80 period were not released free into society, but were kept/sent to a labor camp where they worked and received salaries.
  • labrang [tib. bla brang] 1. The property/wealth owning corporate entity of an incarnate lama. 2. The property/wealth owning corporate entity of the Panchen Lama.
  • lag [tib. lag] A traditional Tibetan unit comprising of ten transport animals. This term was normally used for mules and donkeys.
  • lagdöba [tib. lag sdod pa] A tantric practitioner who stops hail storms by tantric practices.
  • lagen [tib. bla rgan] An old monk.
  • lagthe [tib. lag thel] The woven cotton bracelet that was given to all Tibetan Army soldiers. The army put its wax seal on this and soldiers were required to keep it as proof of their official registration as a soldier.
  • lagyüba [tib. bla rgyud pa] A term for the common monks in a monastery (in contrast to the scholar monks who were actively studying the Buddhist doctrine).
  • Laja [tib. bla phyag] 1. The abbreviation of bla brang phyag mdzod, a major treasury/supply office that was located on the second floor of the Tsuglagang Temple and collected taxes annually from various parts of Tibet. 2. A monastic official/manager who worked for the Labrang of the abbots or incarnate lamas. For example, in Loseling College in Drepung, the Laja worked for the abbot who appointed him.
  • Laji [tib. bla spyi] The highest administrative council in large monasteries, like Drepung. It consisted of the Abbots, the Tshogchen Umdze, the Shengo and the Jiso. In Drepung it also included ex-abbots.
  • la khe [tib. gla khal] A volume measure used when paying salaries.
  • lalag [tib. lag lags] A traditional religious practitioner in rural Tibet who was a specialist in blocking hail from falling on agricultural fields.
  • lama chandzö [tib. bla ma phyag mdzod] The monk in charge of making tea and food when the Laji Council met.
  • lama gyüpa [tib. bla ma rgyud pa] The name for the monks enrolled in the Upper and Lower Tantric Monastic Colleges in Lhasa (gyüme and gyütö).
  • lama migtsema [tib. bla ma dmigs brtse ma] The geshe monk who recites the Migtsema prayer.
  • lama shunglenpa [tib. bla ma gzhung len pa] A sort of deputy abbot who was in charge of the scholastic monks (the pechewa).
  • lamrim chenmo [tib. lam rim chen mo] A major Tibetan Buddhist text that presents the stages in the complete path to enlightenment as taught by the Buddha.
  • lamyig [tib. lam yig] A government document (permit) that authorized the holder to receive corvée transportation and riding animals when traveling.
  • lamyik [tib. lam yig] A government document (permit) that authorized the holder to receive corvée transportation and riding animals when traveling.
  • Langdün [tib. glang mdun] The name of the family of the 13th Dalai Lama.
  • ledön rukhag [tib. las don ru khag] A work team in the Chinese communist system. Work teams were groups of party officials who went to different areas to oversee reforms, investigate a situation or to initiate new political campaigns.
  • ledrung [tib. las drung] A clerk.
  • legjö legung [tib. legs bcod las khungs] The Tibetan government’s Reform Office.
  • legung [tib. las khungs] Office.
  • leja [tib. las bya] A lower official, a staff official.
  • lemi ruga [tib. las mi ru khag; ch. jiu ye zhi gong] A type of detention camp. Some prisoners in the 1959-80 period were not released free into society, but were kept/sent to a labor camp where they worked and received salaries.
  • lene [tib. las sne] The general name for all monastic officials.
  • lene thönsin [tib. las ne thon zin] The ex-monastic officials who have the title of "thon."
  • lepön [tib. las dpon] A supervisor of work on an estate.
  • leygung [tib. las khungs] Office.
  • letsenpa [tib. las tshan pa] The name for officials of the 5th rank in the traditional Tibetan government.
  • leyshing [tib. las zhing] Fields given to a person to plant and harvest as payment for work done on the owner's fields. These owners could be rich peasants, or aristocratic or monastic lords. Generally the agreement specified that the worker was required to work for a certain number of days. This was a common way that peasants who had no land (or not enough land) could supplement their income.
  • lhajam [tib. lha lcam] A title (and term of address) for wives of high aristocratic officials.
  • lhajam kusho [tib. lha lcam sku zhabs] A title (and term of address) for wives of high aristocratic officials.
  • lhapsö [tib. lha gsol] A religious offering to the gods that usually involves burning incense.
  • lhapsö tsogpa [tib. lha gsol tshogs pa] An organization/group/association that made religious incense offerings to the gods.
  • lharamba [tib. lha rams pa] A geshe who passed his debate-exam at the Mönlam Prayer Festival. This is the highest type of geshe.
  • lhasey [tib. lha sras] An honorific term for sons of high ranking aristocrats. For example, it was commonly used for Gyalo Thondup, the Dalai Lama's elder brother. He was often referred to as Lhasey chemmo.
  • lhoji [tib. gling bsre] The governor-general of Southern Tibet.
  • lingse [tib. lho spyi] One of the lower types of geshe whose exam was in the chöra.
  • lobpön [tib. slob dpon] The name for "abbot" in some monasteries, e.g., Kundeling.
  • lobso sum [tib. slob gso gsum] "The Three Educations (campaign). A campaign started in Tibet in 1964-65 that included education on class, on the prospects for socialism, and on patriotism. It involved criticizing and holding struggle sessions against senior cadres.
  • logjöpa [tib. log spyod pa; ch. sandong fenzi] A (political) reactionary.
  • lönbo [tib. blon po] Minister, Chief Minister.
  • lönchen [tib. blon chen] Prime Minister, Chief Minister. This position was typically filled when the Dalai Lama was in exile. When present, the Lönchen ranked above the Kashag, but below the Dalai Lama.
  • lönpo [tib. blon po] Minister, Chief Minister.
  • lopa [tib. klo pa] A forest dwelling hunting and gathering ethnic group in southeast Tibet.
  • lord [tib. dpon po, mnga' bdag] 1. A manorial estate holder. 2. Chief of an area.
  • losar [tib. lo gsar] New Year.
  • Loseling [tib. blo gsal gling] One of the main colleges in Drepung Monastery.
  • Lubu shingnyer [tib. klu sbug shing gnyer] The official in charge of getting firewood for the Mönlam Prayer Festival.
  • lugong [tib. glud 'gong] A ritual exorcism in which a "scapegoat" was expelled from Lhasa on the 29th of the second lunar month bearing the bad luck and misfortune of the populace.
  • lugu [tib. slu gu] A measurement unit equal to half of a donpo.
  • Lukhangwa [tib. klu khang ba] The family name of a famous aristocratic lay official who was one of the two Sitsab in 1950-52.
  • Lungshar [tib. lung shar] The family name of a famous aristocratic lay official during the time of the 13th Dalai Lama and the Regent Reting.
  • lungshu [tib. lung zhu] Questions asked to a deity while it is possessing a medium's body.
  • lunyo sijü [tib. glud nyo'i srid jus] The policy of compensating families for the confiscation of their property.
  • lurik [tib. blo rigs] The last class/level in the düdra monastic curriculum. This is the end of the phase of memorizing texts.
  • lurik düsang [tib. blo rig dus bzang] The prayer assembly that occurs at the end of the lurik class in monasteries.
  • lu zhang [ch.] A brigade commander in the PLA.

M

  • magang [tib. dmag rkang] A "military gang." A category of land that obligated the household holding the land to provide a corvée soldier for the Tibetan Army. This could either be one of its own family members or someone hired to fulfill their corvée obligation.
  • magba [tib. mag pa] A groom who moved matrilocally at marriage to the household of his bride and became part of her household. In Tibet, the normal custom was the opposite, i.e., women moved to the households of their husband at marriage.
  • magji [tib. dmag spyi] 1. Commander-in-Chief (of the Tibetan Army). 2. Commander of a regiment in Chushigandru.
  • magjigang [tib. dmag spyi khang] The military headquarters of the Tibetan Army.
  • magpa [tib. mag pa] A groom who moved matrilocally at marriage to the household of his bride and became part of her household. In Tibet, the normal custom was the opposite, i.e., women moved to the households of their husband at marriage.
  • mangja [tib. mang ja] The morning tea served to monks from all the monastic colleges at the main prayer assembly hall.
  • mangtso [tib. dmangs tshogs] The masses.
  • mani lhakang [tib. ma ni lha khang] A temple in which a huge prayer wheel is set.
  • maotse [ch.] A Chinese currency unit. 10 maotse = 1 yuan. 10 fen = one maotse.
  • marke [tib. mar khal] 1. A traditional volume measure for weighing butter. 2. A unit used by nomads for conveying the carrying capacity of pastures, for example, in one nomad area, 13 yaks could be kept on one markhe of pastureland in 1950.
  • markhe [tib. mar khal] 1. A traditional volume measure for weighing butter. 2. A unit used by nomads for conveying the carrying capacity of pastures. For example, in one nomad area, 13 yaks could be kept on one markhe of pastureland in 1950.
  • mashi [tib. ma gzhis] An estate that passes matrilineally (from mother to daughter).
  • Me [tib. smad] The Me College of Sera Monastery.
  • mendo [tib. mas rdo] A stone throwing distance competition that was one of the events in the dobdo monk's chogyag sports competition. The stone weighed a little less than a pound and was held behind one's back with two fingers and the thumb before throwing. The dobdo ran from half way up the ramp and then threw it at the end of the platform.
  • mendredensum [tib. mendre rten gsum] A type of religious offering given to lamas that symbolizes the body (via a statue), the speech (via a text) and the mind (via a stupa).
  • mendrel tensum [tib. mendre rten gsum] A type of religious offering given to lamas that symbolizes the body (via a statue), the speech (via a text) and the mind (via a stupa).
  • mendre tensum [tib. man dral rten gsum] A type of religious offering given to lamas that symbolizes the body (via a statue), the speech (via a text) and the mind (via a stupa).
  • mentsigang [tib. sman rtsis khang] The Tibetan traditional Medical and Astrological Center.
  • Mey [tib. smad] The Mey College of Sera Monastery.
  • meyog [tib. smad gyogs] 1. Petticoat. 2. The lower skirt of monks and monk officials.
  • mibab jenshu [tib. mi bab spyan zhu] The ceremony at which candidates for a position present themselves before officials (or the Dalai Lama/Regent) so that the higher officials can see firsthand what the candidate looks like. A visual inspection of candidates.
  • mibo [tib. mi bogs] A status wherein a peasant "leased" his/her "freedom" from his/her lord to live and work where he/she wanted. The peasants with human lease status still belonged to their lord and were required to pay an annual fee ("human lease fee") to their lord. The children of human lease peasants inherited this status from parents of the same sex (i.e. sons of a male belonged to their father's lord).
  • mimang [tib. mi dmangs] 1. Refers to "the people" in the collective sense. 2. It is also sometimes used to refer specifically to the People's Associations that existed in Lhasa in the 1950s.
  • mimang thütsog [tib. mi dmangs 'thus tshogs] People's Association.
  • mimang tshogpa [tib. mi dmangs tshogs pa] People's Association.
  • mimang tsogpa [tib. mi dmangs tshogs pa] People's Association.
  • mimang tsondu [tib. mi dmangs tshogs 'du] People's Association.
  • Mindröling [tib. smin grol gling] A famous Nyingma Monastery.
  • mipön [tib. mi dpon] The mayor of Lhasa during the traditional era. The head of the Nangtsesha Office [tib. snang rtse shar].
  • miser [tib. mi ser] A term that can mean serf/bound subject as well as citizen, depending on context. For example, the miser of a lord would connote the bound subjects of that lord, whereas the miser of Tibet would connote citizens of Tibet.
  • mitsen [tib. mi tshan] A sub-unit of a khamtsen.
  • mitshan [tib. mi tshan] A sub-unit of a khamtsen.
  • mola [tib. rmo lags] A kinship term of reference and address for grandmother and female relatives of the same generation as one's actual grandmother.
  • Mönlam (chemmo) [tib. smon lam (chen mo)] The (Great) Prayer Festival in the first Tibetan month.
  • Mönlam Tsongjö [tib. smon lam tshogs mchod] Abbr.: The Mönlam and Tsongjö Prayer Festivals in Lhasa.
  • momo [tib. mog mog] Stuffed dumplings.
  • monngö [tib. rmod brngos] A tax in the traditional society that required payment of tsamba and grain to be used as fodder for the horses of the Tibetan government.
  • morang [tib. mo rang] An unmarried, divorced, or widowed woman living alone.
  • morangga [tib. mo rang ba] An unmarried, divorced, or widowed woman living alone.
  • morangga [tib. mo hrang ma] An unmarried, divorced, or widowed woman living alone.
  • mu [ch.] A Chinese land measurement equal to 0.67 hectares and 0.17 acres. In contemporary rural Tibet (in the 1990s), a mu was roughly equivalent to a khe, and both were often used interchangeably.
  • Muru [tib. rme ru] Name of a monastery in the northern part of Lhasa.
  • mushi cogsum [tib. rme bzhi lcags gsum] An abbreviation of the names of three monasteries: Muru Monastery, Shide Monastery and the Jagpori Monastery.
  • Mutual Aid Team [tib. rogs res tshogs chung] Type of cooperative production unit started in 1960-61 as a precursor to full communes. In farm areas, it consisted of 5-6 poorer families who would be joined with one or two better off families who would then cooperate in all aspects of farming, although each family would keep all of its yield.

N

  • nachen [tib. sna chen] The name used for the largest Khamtsen in Drepung (or Sera, or Ganden).
  • nagchu [tib. nag chu] A large prefecture north/northwest of Lhasa. The city that is the prefectural capital of that area.
  • nagchuga [tib. nag chu kha] A large prefecture north/northwest of Lhasa. The city that is the prefectural capital of that area.
  • namba [tib. gnam ba] The organization of people who broke and shaped large stones for the Tibetan government as a tax; a person belonging to the Namba.
  • nambu [tib. snam bu] Hand-woven woolen fabric/material.
  • Namgyal [tib. rnam rgyal] 1. A person's name. 2. The name of the Dalai Lama's monastery located in the Potala Palace [tib. rnam rgyal grwa tshamg].
  • Namgye Tratsang [tib. rnam rgyal grwa tshang] The monastery of the Dalai Lama located in the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
  • Namseling [tib. rnam gsal gling] The family name of a well-known aristocratic lay official.
  • nangcha [tib. gnangs chag] "On alternating days," e.g., a corvée labor tax where a household had to send someone to work every other day.
  • nangdön [tib. nang 'don] An "inner dön." Land from which taxes were paid to the immediate estate lord.
  • nangdzö [tib. nang mdzod] A special high quality Khata scarf
  • nangma [tib. nang ma] A minor monk assistant to the Shengo at the Mönlam Chemmo Prayer Festival. These nangma ranked below the Chagdampa.
  • Nangmagang [tib. nang ma sgang] The top administrative office of the Panchen Lama's Labrang/government.
  • nangsen [tib. nang zan] A type of serf/bound peasant who lived in the house of his or her lord and worked as a servant without pay.
  • nangtre [tib. nang khral] The taxes and corvée labor services one provided to one's own lord (as opposed to chitre which were paid to the government).
  • Nangtsesha [tib. snang rtse shag] The main administrative office in Lhasa that was headed by the "mayor" or mipön.
  • Nechung [tib. gnas chung] 1. One of the main protector deities of the Tibetan government and the Dalai Lama. 2. The monastery in which the medium of Nechung resides that is located just east of Drepung Monastery.
  • neighborhood committee [tib. u yon lhan khang] A major administrative unit in cities.
  • nendrön [tib. sne mgron] The monk official in charge of the Regent's Secretariat Office (shöga). He was the equivalent of the Lord Chamberlain in the Dalai Lama's Secretariat.
  • neshen [tib. sne shan] A liaison officer (usually of the Tibetan government) who was assigned to foreign visitors and high lamas.
  • ngadag [tib. mnga' bdag; ch. lingzhu] Feudal lord, manorial estate holders, serf-owners.
  • Ngadang [tib. nga dang] The Gyantse Regiment of the traditional Tibetan Army.
  • ngagdrön [tib. ngag sgron] A basic spelling book, a book that lists correct spellings.
  • ngagpa [tib. sngags pa] 1. Lay exorcists (mantrists) who are usually concerned with controlling rain and hail. 2. One of the colleges in Sera and Drepung Monasteries that specialize in teaching ngag (lay exorcism).
  • ngangnam [tib. nang rnam] The Tashilhunpo/Labrang equivalent of seynampa.
  • ngapön [tib. lnga dpon] The head of a unit of five people.
  • Ngamjö [tib. lnga mchod] The Ganden Ngamjö holiday commemorating the death of Tsongkapa. It falls on the 25th of the 10th Tibetan lunar month.
  • ngatshab [tib. mnga' tshab; ch. lingzhu dailiren] Agents of the lords of manorial estates (as classified by the Chinese Communist Party). For example, estate managers.
  • ngoten [tib. bsngo rten] Money or possessions of a deceased person that are given to a lama/monk when asking him to do prayers for that person.
  • ngatsab [tib. mnga' tshab; ch. lingzhu dailiren] Agents of the lords of manorial estates (as classified by the Chinese Communist Party), for example estate managers.
  • ngöntogyen [tib. mngon rtogs rgyan] The Abhisamaya text.
  • ngotre [tib. sngo khral] A summer tax paid in butter.
  • Ngulchu [tib. rngul chu] The Salween River.
  • ngünyer [tib. dngul gnyer] Accountant, bookkeeper, cashier. Someone in charge of cash.
  • ngüsang [tib. dngul srang] A unit in the traditional Tibetan currency system, 50 of which equaled 1 dotse.
  • Norbulinga [tib. nor bu gling kha] The summer palace of the Dalai Lama.
  • Norbulinga ga [tib. nor bu gling kha 'gag] The Secretariat of the Dalai Lama that was held in Norbulinga while the Dalai Lama was residing there.
  • nyaga [tib. nya ga] A weight measurement unit. About 10 nyaga was equal to one gyama, which weighed 1.1 lbs.).
  • Nyarongsha [tib. nang rong shag] Name of a private school in Lhasa (and the house in which is was located).
  • Nyamdre [tib. mnyam sbrel; ch. da lian zhi] One of the two major revolutionary organizations during the Cultural Revolution in Tibet. It is sometimes translated in English as the "Alliance" or the "Great Alliance."
  • nyekhora [tib. nye 'khor ba] The term for monks who came from villages near to the monastery.
  • nyerba [tib. gnyer pa] A steward or manager. In some monasteries, the nyerba was in charge of storerooms under the authority of a higher manager called a chandzö.
  • nyerpa [tib. gnyer pa] A steward or manager. In some monasteries, the nyerpa was in charge of storerooms under the authority of a higher manager called a chandzö.
  • nyerpai düsang [tib. gnyer pa'i dus bzang] The prayer ceremony, or tonggo, sponsored by a nyerpa after finishing his term of office.
  • nyertsang [tib. gnyer tshang] 1. Storehouse. 2. Steward, person in charge of a storehouse. 3. A monastic official in charge of storerooms.
  • nyikü [tib. nyis skul] The name of a corvée tax that required sending a worker during the harvest and plowing periods.
  • nyila [tib. snying lags] Nyila was a term of address for the wives of traders, but was also used in a manner similar to wife or "Mrs."
  • nyingma [tib. rnying ma] The oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • nyina [tib. nyis sna] A supplementary military conscription tax. It required families holding four military gang (tax units), each of which had originally been obliged to send a soldier to the Gyajong Regiment, to send an additional soldier. This was how the Tibetan government recruited troops for its new Bodyguard Regiment.
  • nyugja (shu) [tib. snyug lcag] A thin, pliant sliver of bamboo that is bent back and let snap to hit the cheek of students as a punishment. The student had to puff out his cheek to receive the blow.
  • nyinchö [tib. nyin chos] A mid-day study session in monasteries.

O

  • ochen [tib. dbu chen] Title for the senior carvers of woodblocks used in printing.
  • ochung [tib. dbu chung] Second level title for woodblocks used in printing.
  • Oppose three, exempt two [tib. ngo rgol gsum dang chag yang gnyis; ch. san fan shuang jian] A campaign started at the beginning of democratic reforms in 1959 that was aimed at teaching Tibetans to oppose the three major exploiters: the aristocrats, the monastic leaders/lamas and the Tibetan government. The two exemptions were from loans and taxes.
  • ola [tib. 'o lags] A kinship term of reference and address for younger male or female relatives of one's own generation.
  • outer tax [tib. phyi khral] The tax that peasants paid to the government as opposed to their own lords (which was called the inner tax).

P

  • pag [tib. spags] A staple Tibetan dish of tsampa mixed with tea and kneaded into balls of dough-like consistency.
  • pai zhang [ch.] Platoon leader in the PLA.
  • pajok [tib. spa ljog] The two hair knots required to be worn by Tibetan government officials on their heads.
  • Panda [tib. spom mda'] The abbreviated name of a Khamba trading family (Pandatsang), one branch of whom became lay officials in the Tibetan government.
  • Pandatsang [tib. spom mda' tshang] A name of a Khamba trading family that became Tibetan government lay officials.
  • Panglung Gyalchen [tib. spang lung rgyal chen mda'] The protector deity Shungden.
  • Panglung Gyelchen [tib. spang lung rgyal chen mda'] The protector deity Shungden.
  • parkhang depa [tib. par khang sde pa] The person in charge of the printing house in Drepung Monastery
  • patriotic donation grain [tib. rgyal gces gzhung 'bru; ch. gong liang] A tax collected by the government during the commune and Mutual Aid Team eras. It was grain that families or brigades had to give the government without any payment out of "patriotism." The amount was initially based on real yields, but later was set by the government based on presumed yields.
  • patrug [tib. spa phrug] The traditional woman's headdress.
  • PCTAR [tib. bod rang skyong ljong gra sgrigs u yon lhan khang] The Preparatory Committee for [the implementation of] the Tibet Autonomous Region.
  • pecha [tib. dpe cha] Religious books/texts, scriptures.
  • pecha gegen [tib. dpe cha'i dge rgan] A monk who teaches reading religious texts.
  • pechai gegen [tib. dpe cha'i dge rgan] A monk who teaches reading religious texts.
  • pechawa [tib. dpe cha ba] A monk studying the monastic philosophical curriculum. A scholar monk.
  • pentsampa [tib. dpe mtshams pa] The scholar monks who live with a patron while studying tsenyi or while memorizing religious texts (pecha) to become a lama güypa.
  • phashi [tib. pha gzhis] A manorial estate that passes from father to son (patrilineally).
  • phebsu [tib. phebs gsu] A welcoming event. Going to welcome someone.
  • phodrang [tib. pho brang] Abbreviation of Ganden Phodrang, the residence of the Dalai Lama in Drepung, and later, the residence of the Tibetan government's representative in Drepung (the Phodrang depa).
  • phodrang depa [tib. pho brang sde pa] The monastic official in charge of the Ganden Photrang building in Drepung monastery.
  • phog [tib. phogs] 1. Salary (for a job). 2. The salary-like payments in grain, etc., that monk's receive from their monastery.
  • phogkang [tib. phogs khang] 1. An office that deals with giving salary and/or supplies.
  • phorang [tib. pho rang] A man living alone.
  • photrang depa [tib. pho brang sde pa] The monastic official in charge of the Ganden Photrang building in Drepung Monastery.
  • phuja [tib. phu phyag] The chabu (manager) of Phukhang Khamtsen.
  • phül [tib. phul] A unit of volume measurement. Six phul equaled one dre, and 120 phül equaled one khe.
  • phutru [tib. bu phrug] The pejorative name for the juvenile members of households classified as being part of the of bad classes.
  • pithu [tib. spe thub] A Khamtsen in Drepung Monastery.
  • PLA [tib. bcings 'grol dmag mi] People's Liberation Army.
  • pöba [tib. bod pa] 1. A person from Central Tibet. 2. More recently it is used for all Tibetans (as opposed to non-Tibetans).
  • pola [tib. spo lags] Grandfather (honorific).
  • pön [tib. dpon] 1. A lord. 2. A local chief.
  • pönbo [tib. dpon po] 1. A lord. 2. A local chief.
  • pömpo [tib. dpon po] 1. A lord. 2. A local chief.
  • pönpo [tib. dpon po] 1. A lord. 2. A local chief.
  • production brigade [tib. thon skyed ru khag] A major subdivision of a commune.

Q

  • qu [ch.] An administrative unit in post-1959 Tibet that was above the xiang and below the xian. This unit was eliminated in the late 1980s. It is pronounced "chu" in Tibetan.

R

  • rabjung [tib. rab byung] Monastic vows.
  • Ragashag [tib. rag kha shag] The family name of a well known aristocratic official who was a Kalön in the 1950s.
  • ragyaba [tib. rags rgyab pa] An untouchable social stratum (caste) in Lhasa that took corpses to the sky burial site.
  • Ramadruka [tib. ra ma gru kha] The main ferry port across the Lhasa River in Lhasa.
  • Ramagang [tib. ram ma sgang] A ferry site on the Lhasa River south of Lhasa City.
  • Ramba [tib. ram pa] The family name of a well known aristocratic monk official who was a Kalön.
  • Rampa [tib. ram pa] The family name of a well known aristocratic monk official who was a Kalön.
  • ration grain [tib. sandru (bza' 'bru); ch. kou liang] The standard amount of grain that each member in a production team or brigade was provided regardless of work performed.
  • redeeming policy [tib. blu nyo'i srid jus] The Chinese government's policy of compensating the bourgeoisie/lords for the loss of their property and possessions.
  • rigdra [tib. rigs grwa] The 18 day prayer meeting ceremony that was sponsored by the Riji Committee in Drepung Monastery.
  • Riji [tib. rigs spyi] The monastic committee that consisted of the six incumbent Drepung abbots. Ex-abbots and the abbot of Ngagpa College were excluded. It was responsible for doing the 18 day Rigdra Ceremony for which it had estates to provide the funding.
  • rimpoche [tib. rin po che] 1. Title for an incarnate lama. 2. Term of address for incarnate lamas.
  • rimshi [tib. rim bzhi] A fourth rank official in the Tibetan government.
  • rinpoche [tib. rin po che] 1. Title for an incarnate lama. 2. Term of address for incarnate lamas.
  • ruga [tib. ru khag] A brigade (in a commune).
  • rukhag [tib. ru khag] A brigade (in a commune).
  • rukhe [tib. ru khal] Abbreviation of tenzin kharu, the official Tibetan government volume measurement used for measuring grain. It weighed about 28-31 pounds for barley. It was also used to convey the size of fields. For example, a field said to be 10 tenzin kharu in size meant that 10 tenzin kharu of seed could be sown on that field.
  • rungkhang [tib. rung khang] A monastic kitchen.
  • rupön [tib. ru dpon] A military officer in the traditional Tibetan Army just below a depön (commander). Rupön were usually in charge of half of a regiment (something like a battalion).

S

  • sagadawa [tib. sa ga zla ba] The 4th Tibetan month that commemorates the birth, death and nirvana of the Buddha.
  • Salang Shingpar [tib. sa blangs zhiing 'phar] The name of the Tibetan Government's edict that gave people the right to open up unused/waste land for their own cultivation.
  • samadrok [tib. sa ma 'brog] A type of agro-pastoral subsistence mode that combined farming with the substantial use of sheep, goats and yaks.
  • Sambo [tib. bsam pho] The abbreviated name of one of the largest and most powerful aristocratic families (Samdru Phodrang).
  • Samdru Phodrang [tib. bsam grub pho brang] The name of one of the largest and most powerful aristocratic families.
  • Samlo Khamtsen [tib. bsam lho khang tshan] The name of a residential unit (khamtsen) in Sera Monastery.
  • samtra [tib. sam khra] The traditional rectangular wooden writing/message board. The message was written on the polished, blackened surface of the wood that was covered with a white chalk. A stylus was used to clear away the chalk leaving the shape of the letters, which appeared black. It was usually about 12-14 inches long and 2 inches wide. There was a lower board on which the messages were written and a top board which served as the cover. In many cases there were several additional writing boards between these two.
  • sandru [tib. bza' bru] The standard or basic amount of grain that each member in a production team or brigade was provided (for food) regardless of work performed.
  • Sandu [tib. sa 'dul] Abbr. A Khamba trading family that became Tibetan government officials.
  • Sandutsang [tib. sa 'dul tshang] A Khamba trading family that became Tibetan government officials.
  • sang [tib. srang] A unit of traditional Tibetan currency. It was also called ngüsang [tib. dngul srang]. 50 nügsang = 1 dotse; 10 sho = 1 nügsang; 20 5-karma coins = 1 ngüsang. There were also paper currency notes of 7-sang, 25-sang, and 10-sang denominations.
  • Sangpu yarchö [tib. gsang phu dbyar chos] The special summer debating session for monks that was held annually in the area called Sangpu.
  • sarjel [tib. gsar mjal] 1. The required ceremony that was done when an official got a promotion. It involved going for an audience with the Dalai Lama or Regent. 2. The ceremony when a person first entered Tibetan government service.
  • sarshug [tib. gsar zhugs] The term used for monks who newly enter a monastery without having first joined another monastery.
  • saship [tib. sa zhib] A survey of land.
  • satsig [tib. sa tshigs] A station in the Tibetan government's corvée transportation network which was used to move goods throughout the country. Villagers were required to provide carrying animals as a corvée tax and transport the goods from their satsig to the next one where another group of villagers were obligated to move the goods to the next station. Satsig were situated half a day's trip from each other so that the villagers could return to their homes the same day.
  • satsig [tib. sa rtsigs] A government edict.
  • Sawang [tib. sa dbang] One of the heads of the Kashag [bka' shag] or Council of Ministers. Sawang was also a term of address for a Kalön/Shape.
  • Sawangchemmo [tib. sa dbang chen mo] One of the heads of the Kashag [bka' shag] or Council of Ministers. Sawangchemmo was also a term of address for a Kalön/Shape.
  • Sawangchenmo [tib. sa dbang chen mo] One of the heads of the Kashag [bka' shag] or Council of Ministers. Sawangchenmo was also a term of address for a Kalön/Shape.
  • Sawang Chenmo [tib. sa dbang chen mo] One of the heads of the Kashag [bka' shag] or Council of Ministers. Sawang Chenmo was also a term of address for a Kalön/Shape.
  • sen [tib. gzan] The upper part of a monk's dress.
  • senampa [tib. sras rnam pa] A rank just below the 4th rank (rimshi) held by young officials from the upper level of the aristocracy [the Yabshi and Depön Midrag families] when they first joined the government.
  • Sendregasum [tib. se 'bras dga' gsum] The abbreviation used for the three great monastic seats around Lhasa: Sera, Drepung and Ganden Monasteries.
  • senriy [tib. zan ril] A divine lottery. Multiple answers to a question were written on paper of the same size and rolled in dough balls of the same size and weight. These were shaken in a plate or bowl in front of a statue of a deity until one of the balls popped out. The ball that popped out was considered to have been selected by the deity before which the lottery was done.
  • Sera Je [tib. se ra byes] The Je College in Sera Monastery.
  • Sera Jey [tib. se ra byes] The Jey (Je) College of Sera Monastery.
  • Sera Me [tib. se ra smad] The Me (Mey) College in Sera Monastery
  • Sera Mey [tib. se ra smad] The Mey (Me) College of Sera Monastery.
  • sey [tib. sras] An honorific term for the son of an aristocratic family, e.g., Sambo Sey (the son of the Sambo family).
  • Seven-One [ch. qi yi nong chang] One of the first State Farms started in Tibet in the Nortölinga area near Drepung Monastery.
  • seynampa [tib. sras rnam pa] A rank just below the 4th rank (rimshi) held by young officials from the upper level of the aristocracy when they first joined the government.
  • shabdöba [tib. zhabs sdod pa] Aristocratic government officials who served by virtue of holding an estate.
  • shag [tib. 1. shag, 2. zhag] 1. The apartment/room of a monk. 2. The butter fat that coagulates on the top of butter-tea when the tea is left to sit for some time. If the tea had been made with a lot of butter, this layer could be thick enough to scoop off and save to later sell or eat separately. The senior monks are usually served tea with a lot of shag.
  • shagtsang [tib. shag tshang] 1. The household or family of a monk that consisted of multiple monks. 2. The apartment of a monk household.
  • Shakabpa [tib. zhwa sgab pa] The name of the family of an important lay official during the 1940s and 1950s.
  • shamdre [tib. sha 'bras] A food made from meat and spices fried with rice.
  • shamo [tib. zhwa mo] 1. A regular hat, cap. 2. A political slang term label used for people who were classified as class enemies or reactionaries. It was used as: "They put the hat on him," or "They never took his hat off."
  • shamtab [tib. sham thabs] The lower part of a monk's dress.
  • shamtabtre [tib. sham thabs khral] The work obligation that monks have to do for their monastery.
  • Shanggo shenyer [tib. zhang go shing gnyer] The monastic official in charge of fuel for the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa (the Mönlam).
  • Shanggo shingnyer [tib. zhang go shing gnyer] The monastic official in charge of fuel for the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa (the Mönlam).
  • Shango Shenyer [tib. zhang go shing gnyer] The monastic official in charge of fuel for the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa (the Mönlam).
  • shapdöpa [tib. zhabs sdod pa] Aristocratic government officials who served by virtue of holding an estate.
  • Shape [tib. zhabs pad] One of the heads of the Kashag [bka' shag] or Council of Ministers. There were usually 4 Shape or Kalön, although in the 1950s the number increased at various times to 6 or 7. The ministers made decisions collectively and had no fixed term of office.
  • Sharchenjog [tib. shar chen lcogs] The prison used for political prisoners in traditional Tibet that was located in the east wing of the Potala Palace.
  • Shashöchangsum [tib. sha zhol chang gsum] The three Silön appointed to rule in place of the 13th Dalai Lama while he was in exile. (i.e., bshad sgra, zhol khang, chang khyim).
  • Shatra [tib. bshad sgra] The name of the family of an important lay aristocratic official.
  • seer [Hindi. sihr] A weight unit equal to about 2.06 pounds.
  • shendama [tib. zhal ta ma] A female servant.
  • Shengo [tib. zhal ngo] 1. A junior officer in the traditional Tibetan Army in charge of a unit (platoon) of 25 soldiers (same as dingpön). 2. The two head disciplinary officials for all of Drepung Monastery and for the Mönlam Prayer Festival.
  • Shenyen shengo [tib. shing gnyer zhal ngo] The monk in charge of firewood at the Mönlam Prayer Festival.
  • shenyer [tib. shing gnyer] The monk in charge of firewood at the Mönlam Prayer Festival.
  • Sherkang [tib. bsher khang] The Tibetan government's investigatory/prosecutorial/legal office that investigates cases.
  • Sherpang [tib. bsher dpang] The Tibetan government's investigatory/prosecutorial/legal office that investigates. 2. The heads/judges of this office.
  • Shetring [tib. bshes spring] A letter sent by Nagaruna [tib. mgon po klu sgrub] to the King Dejö Sangpo [tib rgyal po bde spyod bzang po]. This is widely studied in Tibet because it contains advice and instruction on both religion and politics
  • shey [tib. 1. shas, 2. she] 1. A type of lease for agricultural land wherein the leasee pays half of the yield to the lessor. 2. A type of arrangement wherein nomads are given female animals and have to pay a tax every year in butter. Sometimes this tax is based on the actual number of lactating animals and sometimes it is fixed regardless of the number of lactating animals.
  • sheyngo [tib. zhal ngo] 1. a junior officer in the traditional Tibetan Army in charge of a unit of 25 soldiers (same as dingpön). 2. the two head disciplinary officials for all of Drepung monastery and for the Mönlam Prayer Festival.
  • shi [ch. shi] A division in the Chinese Army.
  • Shide [tib. bzhi sde] The monastery/labrang of Reting Rimpoche in Lhasa.
  • shidö [tib. gzhis sdod] An estate manager.
  • shiga [tib. gzhis ka] A manorial estate.
  • shigön [tib. gzhis dgon] A branch monastery.
  • shimbar [tib. zhib 'phar] 1. An extra tax levied by Lungshar on monastic and aristocratic estates. 2. The office stated by Lungshar to collect this extra tax.
  • shina [tib. bzhi bna] A supplementary military conscription tax. It required families holding two military gang (tax units), each of which had originally been obliged to send a soldier to the Gyajong Regiment, to send an additional soldier.
  • Shingnyer [tib. shing gnyer] The monk in charge of firewood at the Mönlam Prayer Festival.
  • shinyer [tib. gzhis gnyer] An estate manager.
  • sho [tib. zho] A unit in the traditional Tibetan currency system. 10 sho equaled to 1 sang and 10 karma equaled one sho.
  • shock brigade [tib. 'phral sgrub ru khag] An organization of activists who undertook difficult and laborious tasks and who often took the lead in political campaigns.
  • Shodön [tib. zho ston] The "Yogurt" Festival held in Lhasa to celebrate the end of the monks' summer retreat in the middle of the 5th lunar month (usually August). It was a time when Tibetan Operas were performed.
  • shöga [tib. shod 'gag] The Secretariat of the Regent.
  • shö ga [tib. shod 'gag] The Secretariat of the regent.
  • shögaà [tib. shod 'gag] The Secretariat of the regent.
  • shögor [tib. shod skor] The collective name for the lay (aristocratic) officials of the Tibetan government.
  • shogchö [tib. zhogs chos] The morning chöra (debating) session.
  • shoka [tib. shog kha] A group, unit, faction.
  • Shol [tib. zhol] The walled town beneath the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
  • Shöl [tib. zhol] The walled town beneath the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
  • shöldrung [tib. zhol drung] A clerk in the Shöl legung [tib. zhol las khungs].
  • Shölkhang [tib. zhol khang] The name of a famous and powerful Tibetan aristocratic family.
  • Shöl legung [tib. zhol las khungs] The Tibetan government office responsible for law and order in Shöl (tib. zhol), the walled town beneath the Potala, as well as for 18 districts (tib. rdzong) around Lhasa. It handled mainly criminal cases including murder.
  • Shöl leygung [tib. zhol las khungs] The Tibetan government office responsible for law and order in Shöl (tib. zhol), the walled town beneath the Potala, as well as for 18 districts (tib. rdzong) around Lhasa. It handled mainly criminal cases including murder.
  • Shölpa [tib. zhol pa] 1. The Tibetan government office responsible for law and order in Shöl (tib. zhol), the walled town beneath the Potala, as well as for 18 districts (tib. rdzong) around Lhasa. It handled mainly criminal cases including murder. 2. The head of the Shölpa leygung.
  • Shölpa leygung [tib. zhol pa las khungs] The Tibetan government office responsible for law and order in Shöl (tib. zhol), the walled town beneath the Potala, as well as for 18 districts (tib. rdzong) around Lhasa. It handled mainly criminal cases including murder.
  • shöndre [tib. gzhon khral] The work obligations all young monks have to do for the monastery (it literally means "youth tax").
  • shöndrön [tib. shod mgron] Monk officials working in the Secretariat of the Regent. They were something like an aide-de-camp.
  • shöntrel [tib. gzhon khral] The work obligations all young monks have to do for the monastery (it literally means "youth tax").
  • shopa [tib. sho pa] Customs (Duty) Office and officer.
  • Shotalhosum [tib. sho star lho gsum] A large area/region in Chamdo prefecture whose three main dzongs were Shopando, Pembar, and Lho.
  • Shotön [tib. zho ston] The "Yogurt" Festival held in Lhasa to celebrate the end of the monks' summer retreat in the middle of the 5th lunar month (usually August). It was a time when Tibetan operas were performed.
  • shugja [tib. bzhugs bya] The Tsendrön monk official who was the "on duty" attendant at the Dalai Lama's Secretariat (tib. gag). After the Gag was recessed [after the Drungja] and the Dalai Lama had returned to his room, the Tsendrön shugja stayed at the Gag like a guard. He attended to those who came for audiences, serving tea, snacks, and when the Dalai Lama's call bell rang, he answered and stayed like an attendant.
  • shu ji [tib. hruji] The Chinese term for party secretary. It is used in Tibetan also as hruji.
  • shung [tib. gzhung] 1. A government. 2. The government of the Dalai Lama.
  • shungba [tib. gzhung pa] The name for the students in the Tse labdra school who were recruited by conscription from specified monasteries to be trained to become monk officials.
  • shungshab [tib. gzhung zhabs] A Tibetan government official.
  • shungyuba [tib. gzhung rgyugs pa] A type of bound peasant/miser/serf whose lord was the government rather than an aristocrat or monastery/lama. They usually had sizable land holdings and were primarily responsible for providing the corvée transport and riding animal tax for the Tibetan government's transportation system. Often translated as, "Government taxpayer serfs."
  • shungyupa [tib. gzhung rgyugs pa] A type of bound peasant/miser/serf whose lord was the government rather than an aristocrat or monastery/lama. They usually had sizable land holdings and were primarily responsible for providing the corvée transport and riding animal tax for the Tibetan government's transportation system. Often translated as, "Government taxpayer serfs."
  • silingpu [ch. si ling bu] Military headquarters.
  • silön [ch. srid blon] The Chief (or Prime) Minister in the traditional Tibetan government. This position was usually filled only when the Dalai Lama was out of Lhasa.
  • Simchungnga [tib. gzim chung ba] The name of the oldest Tibetan military unit that was established during the reign of the 7th Dalai Lama in the 18th century.
  • simgag [tib. gzim 'gag] 1. A bodyguard. 2. The guards of high officials such as the Dalai Lama, the Regent, the Silön and the Kalön. The Dalai Lama's Simgag were called Tse Simgag (tib. rtse gzim 'gag) and the Regent's Simgag were called Shöl Simgag (tib. zhol gzim 'gag). They were not real bodyguards, but functioned more as disciplinarians at meetings and ceremonies. They carried only leather whips. The Silön and Kashag's Simgag were all lower-level lay officials. They were called either Simgag or Gagpa (tib. 'gag pa).
  • simjung ga [tib. gzim chung 'gag] The Secretariat Office of the Dalai Lama. This was the same as Tse ga.
  • Simkhang depa [tib. gzim khang sde pa] A monastic official in Sendregasum.
  • simpön [tib. gzim dpon] An honorific term for a servant or personal attendant.
  • Simpön khembo [tib. gzim dpon mkhan po] One of the three monk attendants of the Dalai Lama. He was in charge of the Dalai Lama's clothing.
  • singga [tib. gzim 'gag] 1. A bodyguard. 2. The guards to high officials such as the Dalai Lama, the Regent, the Silön and the Kalön. The Dalai Lama's Singga were called Tse Singga (tib. rtse gzim 'gag) and the Regent's Simgag were called Shöl Singga (tib. zhol gzim 'gag). They were not real bodyguards, but functioned more as disciplinarians at meetings and ceremonies. They carried only leather whips. The Silön and Kashag's Singga were all lower-level lay officials. They were called either Singga or Gagpa (tib. 'gag pa).
  • singja [tib. zing cha] 1. A disturbance, turmoil. 2. An uprising, revolt.
  • sitsab [tib. srid tshab] An acting Silön (Chief/Prime Minister). Two silön were appointed in 1950 when the Dalai Lama left Lhasa for the safety of Yadong on the Sikkim/Indian border.
  • slob gso gsum [tib. slob gso gsum] A campaign that started in Tibet in 1964-65 and included education on class, education on the prospects for socialism, and education on patriotism. It involved criticizing and holding struggle sessions against senior cadre. It was also called the Three Great Education Campaign.
  • Society School [tib. spyi tshogs slob grwa] A new school jointly started by the Chinese and the Tibetan Government in 1952 that was open to students from all classes in society. Thus the name.
  • sogjil [tib. sog byil] A long turquoise earring worn by Tibetan government lay officials on their left ear.
  • sojong [tib. gso sbyong] The confessional assembly of gelong monks that usually met once a month on the 15th of the lunar month.
  • sönkhe [tib. son khal] A khe was the basic volume unit Tibetans used to measure grain and the area of arable fields. The volume of one khe of barley was equal to roughly 28-31 pounds of barley. Sön means seed, so the term sönkhe means a khe of seed. This term was used to delimit the size of fields in Tibet, so that a field that was designated 3 sönkhe, was a field on which 3 khe of seed should be sown.
  • söpön [tib. gsol dpon] A lama or abbot's servant.
  • söpön khembo [tib. gsol dpon mkhan po] One of the three personal monk attendants of the Dalai Lama. He was in charge of food.
  • sösim chösum [tib. gsol gzim mchod gsum] The three personal monk attendants of the Dalai Lama: The Söpön Khembo [tib. gsol dpon khan po] was in charge of food, the Simpön Khembo [tib. gsim dpon mkhan po] was in charge of the clothing and the Chöpön Khembo [tib. mchod dpon mkhan po] was in charge of religious offerings.
  • sösimchösum [tib. gsol gzim mchod gsum] The three personal monk attendants of the Dalai Lama: The Söpön Khembo [tib. gsol dpon khan po] was in charge of food, the Simpön Khembo [gsim dpon mkhan po] was in charge of the Dalai Lama's clothing and the Chöpön Khembo [tib. mchod dpon mkhan po] was in charge of religious offerings.
  • struggle session [tib. thamdzing tsondu ('thab 'dzing tshogs 'du); ch. douzheng hui] Public accusation meetings at which the masses criticized and attacked (struggled against) class enemies and reactionaries, etcetera. Typically, the object of a struggle session would stand in front of the meeting bent over at the waist while the masses questioned and criticized, and often beat him/her.
  • sumtag [tib. sum rtags] Tibetan grammar.
  • sungjö [tib. gsung chos] A large public religious (dharma) teaching usually made by a lama or geshe monk.
  • sungjöra [tib. gsung chos ra] The name of the open area attached to the Jokhang where large public religious (dharma) teachings and prayer sessions occurred. For example, during the Mönlam Prayer Festival. Usually by a lama or geshe monk.
  • surpa [tib. zur pa] 1. For positions, "ex-." 2. For families, a branch of a larger family that had split off at one time in history.

T

  • tabyok [tib. thab g.yog] Monks or laymen who worked as servants/manual laborers in kitchens (normally monastic kitchens).
  • tagrik [tib. rtags rigs] The next to last class in the düdra monastic curriculum.
  • Tashilhunpo [tib. bkra sis lhun po] The famous Gelugpa Monastery of the Panchen Lama located in Shigatse.
  • Taktra [tib. stag brag] The regent of Tibet who replaced Reting in 1941 and served until 1950 when the 14th Dalai Lama assumed power.
  • talama [tib. ta bla ma] 1. The title of the senior-most Trunyichemmo in the Yigtsang (Ecclesiastic) Office. 2. A high title for monk officials.
  • ta lama [tib. ta bla ma] 1. The title of the senior-most Trunyichemmo in the Yigtsang (Ecclesiastic) Office. 2. A high title for monk officials.
  • Talungdra [tib. stag lung brag] The regent of Tibet who replaced Reting in 1941 and served until 1950 when the 14th Dalai Lama assumed power.
  • tanjur [tib. bstan 'gyur] The collection of 225 volumes of commentary on the Buddha's teachings.
  • tapa [tib. rta pa] A rider (on a horse), a person on horseback.
  • TAR [tib. bod rang skyong ljong] Tibet Autonomous Region
  • Tartsedo [tib. dar rtse mdo] The prefectural seat of Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan. Also known as Kangding and Tachienlu. Also spelled Dartsedo.
  • Tashi Chogyag [tib. bkra shis phyogs rgyag] A sports competition (Chogyag) involving running and throwing events between dobdos from one dobdo organization in a monastery.
  • Tashi Khagsar [tib. bkra shis khang gsar] The Drepung monastic official in charge of the daily morning tea provided by the government.
  • tau [tib. rta 'ul] The corvée tax that required providing carrying and riding animals.
  • tayok [tib. rta g.yog] A stable boy or groom for horses.
  • Teiji [tib. tha'i ji] A third rank official in the Tibetan government.
  • Tempa Jayang [tib. bstan pa 'jam dbyangs] A famous monk official in the Tibetan government who served as Trunyichemmo and then Kalön.
  • tentshig gyama [tib. bstan tshigs rgya ma or gtan tshigs rgya ma] A government approved gyama (weighing scale) made from wood. It had the seal of the Tibetan government on it.
  • tenshug [tib. rten bzhugs] A ritual done to request a spiritual teacher or lama to live a long life, a long-life prayer offering.
  • tensung tanglang magar [tib. bstan srung dang blangs dmag sgar] "The Volunteer Army to protect Religion." This was the name that Chushigandru changed to in 1958 in Lhoka in order to broaden the scope of the insurgency army to include not just Eastern Tibetans but all Tibetans.
  • tenzin kharu [tib. bstan 'dzin mkha' ru or gtan tshigs mkha' ru] The official Tibetan government volume measurement used for measuring grain. It weighed about 28-31 pounds for barley. It was also used to convey the size of fields. For example, a field said to be 10 tenzin kharu in size meant that 10 tenzin kharu of seed could be sown on that field.
  • thabden [tib. thab rten] A manorial estate that is given to an official as his salary.
  • thabyog [tib. thab g.yog] Monks or laymen who work as servants/manual laborers in kitchens (normally monastic kitchens).
  • Thamba Shanggo [tib. dan 'bag zhang go] The protector deity of Drepung's Deyang College.
  • Thobshor Chogyag [tib. thob shor phyogs rgyag] A sports competition (Chogyag) involving running and throwing events between dobdos from different monasteries to see who won or lost.
  • thamja [tib. dam bca'] A debate where many monks ask questions of a monk e.g., the debate/exam for the geshe degree.
  • thamdzing [tib. 'thab 'dzing] Public accusation meetings at which the masses criticized and attacked (struggled against) class enemies and reactionaries, etc. Typically, the object of a struggle session would stand in front of the meeting bent over at the waist while the masses questioned and criticized, and often beat him/her.
  • thamja [tib. dam bca'] 1. An oath, promise. 2. A type of monastic debate where two or three monks sit while others stand and ask them questions.
  • thanggu [tib. thang khug] A skin bag in which dry tsamba is kneaded with a liquid (like tea) to make pag balls.
  • thanka [tib. thang ka] A Tibetan scroll painting.
  • thebtsa [tib. thebs rtsa] An endowment fund.
  • theiji [tib. the ji] A third rank position in the Tibetan government.
  • tho [tib. mtho] A traditional Tibetan measurement unit that was equal to the span from the thumb to the middle finger outstretched.
  • thön [tib. thon] In monasteries, a title for monks who have finished their monastic job obligations (tib. thon zin).
  • thönja [tib. thon phyag] The official departure audience that Tibetan government officials had to have with the ruler before leaving for a post outside of Lhasa.
  • thönjö [tib. don gcod] 1. The official heading a (Tibetan) government bureau/office. 2. A Tibetan government bureau/office.
  • thönpa [tib. thon pa] 1. A major aristocratic family.
  • thönsin [tib. thon zin] The ex-monastic officials who had the title of "thon" by virtue of having completed their monastic job obligations.
  • Three Big Mountains [tib. ri bo chen po gsum] A slogan used in 1959-60 for the three great manorial estate holders: the Tibetan government, the aristocracy and the monasteries/lamas.
  • Three Education Campaign [tib. lobso sum (tib. slob gso gsum; ch. san jiao)] A campaign that started in Tibet in 1964-65 and included education on class, education on the prospects for socialism, and education on patriotism. It involved criticizing and holding struggle sessions against senior cadre. It was also called the Three Great Education Campaign.
  • thü [tib. thud] A Tibetan food made from a mixture of butter and cheese. Often sugar or congealed molasses sugar [tib. bu ram] was added.
  • thukpa [tib. thug pa] 1. A porridge or gruel-like soup typically made with tsamba, and if available, meat and cheese. 2. Noodle dishes in broth.
  • thukpa bagthuk [tib. thug pa bag thug] A traditional Tibet soup that had small dumplings of dough.
  • Tö [tib. stod] The traditional name for the region of Far Western Tibet.
  • tobter gegen [tib. lto ster dge rgan] The gegen (teacher) who provided food for a monk [as separate from the gegen (teacher) who taught a monk].
  • tobtsang [tib. lto tshang] 1. The club of the Dobdos. 2. A group of people eating together.
  • tomden [tib. stobs ldan] The name of the corpse-cutters at Sky Burials.
  • tönchö or tönchö chemmo [tib. ston chos or ston chos chen mo] The name of the month long monastic term/semester that occurred in the fall.
  • tonggang [tib. stongs rkang] A gang of land for which the household holding it had become extinct or had run away. It was common for the remaining households in the village to collectively plant that land and collectively pay its taxes.
  • tonggo [tib. gtong sgo] A monastic obligation to provide the food and other necessary items served at a monastic prayer assembly meeting or some other rite; this was often a required obligation for monastic officials at the end of their term of office.
  • torgya [tib. gtor rgyag] An exorcism to ward away evil.
  • torma [tib. gtor ma] A ritual offering made from tsamba and water.
  • Toter Gegen [tib. lto gter dge rgan] The "teacher"/guardian in a monastery who provided food and so forth to a young monk.
  • trachag [tib. grwa 'phyags] 1. Monks conscripted by the government to undergo training to become monk officials in the traditional Tibetan government. 2. Boys conscripted to becomes monks in a monastery.
  • tragyün [tib. grwa rgyun] Monks who came to Drepung, Ganden and Sera from far distances such as Kham and Amdo.
  • traja [tib. grwa ja] The prayer session sponsored by the tratsang (college) at which tea was served to its monks who attended.
  • tramang [tib. grwa dmangs] An ordinary or common monk.
  • trangga [tib. tam ka] A unit in the traditional Tibetan currency system that was equal to 4 sang. Also a silver coin.
  • trangga garpo [tib. tam ka dkar po] A unit in the traditional Tibetan currency system that was equal to 4 sang. Also a silver coin.
  • tranka [tib. tam ka] A unit in the traditional Tibetan currency system that was equal to 4 sang.
  • Trapchi [tib. grwa bzhi] 1. An area below Sera Monastery. 2. The location of the Tibetan Armory-Mint Office and the regimental headquarters of the Khadang Regiment, which was also called the Trapchi Regiment.
  • traphü [tib. skra phud] The tuft of hair cut from boys during the monk initiation ceremony.
  • trasa [tib. grwa sa] A monastery that was considered a "Monastic Seat." This usually referred to the three Gelugpa monastic seats in the Lhasa vicinity (Drepung, Sera and Ganden) and Tashilhunpo in Shigatse.
  • tratsang [tib. grwa tshang] A "college" within a monastery, for example, in Drepung Monastery there were four main tratsang: Gomang, Loseling, Deyang and Ngagpa. These tratsang were property owning corporate entities and included monks who were organized into residential dormitories called Khamtsen.
  • tratsang trüku [tib. grwa tshang sprul sku] A lower ranked trüku (incarnate lamas) in the government's ranking system.
  • tratsang trülku [tib. grwa tshang sprul sku] A lower ranked trülku (incarnate lamas) in the government's ranking system.
  • tre [tib. khral] A tax.
  • treba [tib. khral pa] The class of bound peasant/miser/serf households who held farmland and had to fulfill large corvée tax obligations to their manorial estates/lords. They are often called taxpayer households in English. While some of these were well off by local standards, many were poor due to a variety of factors such as heavy debts and a dearth of able-bodied workers in their households.
  • trede [tib. 'phral bde] The Treasury Office that was located in the Potala and supplied items for the Dalai Lama. It was also called the Tseja. It was a branch of the Laja Treasury Office.
  • trede leygung [tib. 'phral bde las khungs] The Treasury Office that was located in the Potala and supplied items for the Dalai Lama. It was also called the Tseja. It was a branch of the Tseja Treasury Office.
  • treden [tib. khral rten] The fields that a family holds that are the basis of the tax obligations they must fulfill.
  • Tregang [tib. bkras khang] An important aristocratic family that commonly provided monk officials.
  • tregang [tib. khral rkang] The name of the basic tax unit for arable land in traditional Tibetan society. Families with farm land would have one or more fields of different sizes, e.g., 1 tregang or 1/2 of a tregang. This was defined by a fixed number of khe of seed (tib. sönkhe) that would be sown on that field. For example, one tregang in some areas would consist of 10 sönkhe. There was substantial variation between and within regions and types of estates.
  • trema [tib. sran ma] Lentils, peas.
  • Trendong [tib. bkras mthong] The name of the aristocratic family of an important official.
  • trenön [tib. khral snon] The sending by a lord of one of his serfs/servants to another of his subject families as a servant.
  • trenyog [tib. bran g.yog] Hereditary servants who were fed and clothed by their lord and did whatever work the lord assigned in the house or in the fields. They worked 24/7.
  • trerim [tib. gral rim; ch. jie ji] 1. A social class. 2. A class enemy.
  • trerim ngatsab [tib. gral rim mga' tshab] A communist class label meaning "representative/agent" of the class enemies.
  • trimgo rangtsen [tib. khrims 'go rang btsan] The right of a lord to exercise judicial authority over his own peasants.
  • Trimön [tib. khri smon] The name of the aristocratic family of an important lay official .
  • trinjö [tib. 'phrin bcol] An offering to a protector deity when requesting something.
  • Trogawa [tib. khro dga' ba] The name of the aristocratic family of an important government official.
  • trokhang [tib. spro khang] A summer cottage.
  • Troji [tib. gro spyi] The Governor General of the Tromo area.
  • Tromo [tib. gro mo] The Tibetan name for the town that is located on the Sikkim/India border that the Chinese call Yadong.
  • Tromsigang [tib. khrom gzigs khang] 1. A major open market in Lhasa in the traditional era that was near the Jokhang and traditionally sold miscellaneous foodstuffs and new and old goods. 2. The location of the of the Police Regiment, which was also sometimes called the Tromsigang Regiment.
  • Tromsikang [tib. khrom gzigs khang] 1. A major open market in Lhasa in the traditional era that was near the Jokhang and traditionally sold miscellaneous foodstuffs and new and old goods. 2. The location of the of the Police Regiment, which was also sometimes called the Tromsikang Regiment.
  • Trugpa Tseshi [tib. drug pa tshes bzhi] The religious festival on the 4th of the 6th lunar month commemorating the Buddha's first teaching of the Four Noble Truths.
  • trüku [tib. sprul sku] An incarnate lama.
  • trülku [tib. sprul sku] An incarnate lama.
  • trunggyü [tib. drung dkyus) A common (low level) Tibetan government official.
  • trungja [tib. drung ja] The daily rite of serving tea to Tibetan government monk officials. It started at about 9 a.m. and lasted for about an hour. When the Dalai Lama's secretariat (tib. Tse ga) was in the Potala, it was held there, and when it was in Norbulinga, it was held there. All monk officials in Lhasa were expected to attend.
  • trungtog [tib. drung gtogs] An “honorary” rank beneath that of government officials that was usually given to craftsmen.
  • trungtsi [tib. drung rtsis] Abbreviation of Trunyichemmo (heads of the Yigtsang) and Tsipön (heads of the Tsikhang).
  • trungtsigye [tib. drung rtsis brgyad] The name of the smallest assembly or council that was often consulted by the Kashag on important issues. It consisted of the four Trunyichemmo (heads of the Yigtsang) and the four Tsipön (heads of the Tsikhang). These eight officials also presided over the Tibetan government's various assembly meetings.
  • Trunyichemmo [tib. drung yig chen mo] The title of the four heads of the Yigtsang office (Ecclesiastic Office).
  • trunyik [tib. drung yig] Secretary, clerk.
  • tsacha [tib. tsha phyag] The chabu (manager) of Tsha Khamtsen.
  • tsaja [tib. tsha phyag] The chabu (manager) of Tsha Khamtsen.
  • tsamba [tib. rtsam pa] The traditional Tibetan staple food that consists of grain that is roasted (popped), usually in heated sand, and then ground into a flour.
  • tsamba balls [tib. spag] Tsamba mixed with a liquid like tea and kneaded into a ball with the consistency of bread dough.
  • tsampa [tib. rtsam pa] The traditional Tibetan staple food that consists of grain that is roasted (popped), usually in sand, and then ground into a flour.
  • tsampa balls [tib. spag] Tsampa mixed with a liquid like tea and kneaded into a ball with the consistency of bread dough.
  • Tsamshe Legung [tib. rtsam bzhes las khungs] The treasury office that collected tsamba that was used for ceremonial ritual purposes.
  • Tsamshepa [tib. rtsam bzhes pa] The person in charge of the Tsamshe Legung [tib. rtsam bzhes las khungs], the treasury for collecting tsamba used for ceremonial ritual purposes.
  • tsamthug [tib. rtsam thug] A soup made from water and tsampa. It can also include meat, cheese, etc., depending on wealth.
  • Tsang [tib. gtsang] One of the major sub-areas of Tibet that is located in southwest Tibet. Its main city is Shigatse.
  • Tsangji [tib. gtsang spyi] The governor of the Tsang area. He was headquartered in Shigatse.
  • Tsangpa [tib. gtsang pa] 1. A person from Tsang. 2. A khamtsen in Loseling College.
  • tsatsig [tib. rtsa tshig] An edict, e.g., from the Kashag.
  • Tshawa [tib. tshwa ba] A khamtsen in Loseling College.
  • Tse [tib. rtse] The Potala Palace.
  • tsega [tib. rtse 'gag] The Secretariat Office of the Dalai Lama.
  • tse ga [tib. rtse 'gag] The Secretariat Office of the Dalai Lama.
  • tsegaà [tib. rtse 'gag] The Secretariat Office of the Dalai Lama.
  • Tsecholing [tib. tshe mchog gling] 1.The name of the incarnate lama who had served as regent. 2. The monastery of that lama in Lhasa.
  • tsegutor [tib. rtse dgu gtor] The exorcism ritual that involved a religious dance (tib. 'cham) performed on the 29th day of the 12th Tibetan lunar month at the Potala to clear out obstacles and evil influences.
  • Tseja [tib. rtse phyag] 1. The Treasury Office that was located in the Potala and supplied items for the Dalai Lama. 2. The name/title of the officials who headed the Tseja Office.
  • Tse labdra [tib. rtse slob grwa] The school for training monk officials in the Potala that was run by the Yigtsang (Ecclesiastic) Office.
  • tsema [tib. tshad ma] Logic (in Buddhist dialectics).
  • Tsendrön [tib. rtse mgron] The monk officials working as aides in the Tse ga, the Secretariat of the Dalai Lama.
  • Tsendrün [tib. rtse mgron] The monk officials working as aides in the Tse ga, the Secretariat of the Dalai Lama.
  • Tsenshab [tib. mtshan zhabs] The religious debating assistants of the Dalai Lama.
  • tsenyi [tib. mtshan nyid] Buddhist dialectics. This is taught after the six-year curriculum called düdra.
  • tsenyi gegen [tib. mtshan nyid dge rgan] A teacher of Buddhist dialectics (in monasteries).
  • tsenyi pecha [tib. mtshan nyid dpe cha] The texts dealing with Buddhist dialectics.
  • Tshaja [tib. tsha phyag] The chabu (manager) of Tsha Khamtsen in Drepung Monastery.
  • Tsha Khamtsen [tib. tsha ba khang tshan] One of the main residential units (khamtsen) in Drepung Monastery.
  • Tshasho [tib. tshwa zho] The Tibetan official in charge of the salt tax and other trade taxes for the traditional Tibetan government.
  • Tsheba Lhakang [tib. tshe dpag lha khang] The temple of Tshe dpal med, the Longevity Deity, that was located in front of the Ramoche Temple in Lhasa.
  • tsho [tib. tsho] A group, an administrative unit, a nomad group.
  • tshog [tib. tshog] 1. An offering made of tsamba, butter and dry cheese in the shape of a cone. 2. A prayer assembly meeting in monasteries when all the monks come to an assembly hall and chant prayers together.
  • tshogchen [tib. tshogs chen] The main assembly hall of a monastery. The assembly hall for the monastery as a whole.
  • Tshogchen Shengo [tib. tshogs chen zhal ngo] The two monk officials in charge of discipline in large monasteries like Drepung.
  • Tshogchen Umdze [tib. tshogs chen dbu mdzad] The prayer/chant leader of the monastery as a whole.
  • tshogchung [tib. tshogs chung] A small group. A sub-group or breakout group of a larger group.
  • tshogpa [tib. tshogs pa] An organization, an association, a group.
  • tshomja [tib. tshoms ja] A prayer assembly meeting of a Khamtsen at which tea is served to the participating monks.
  • Tshomönling [tib. mtsho smon gling] The name of a famous lama whose labrang was located in the north of Lhasa.
  • Tshomünling [tib. mtsho smon gling] The name of a famous lama whose labrang was located in the north of Lhasa.
  • tshongdru [tib. tshong 'bru] A government-set quota of grain that villages (and households) had to sell to the government at a price set by the government.
  • Tshongji [tib. tshong spyi] The Tibetan Trade Agent at Gyantse (this was a position for a fourth rank government official).
  • Tshongjö [tib. tshogs mchod] The large religious prayer festival held in Lhasa in the 2nd Tibetan lunar month.
  • tshopön [tib. tsho dpon] The head or chief of a Tsho (a group or area).
  • tshopün [tib. tsho dpon] The head or chief of a Tsho (a group or area).
  • Tshurpu [tib. mtshur phu] The monastery that is the sea of the Karmapa Lamas in Tölung County.
  • tsidrugpa [tib. rtsis phrug pa] A trainee studying in the Tsikhang for admission as a full government official in the lay aristocratic segment of the Tibetan government.
  • tsidrung [tib. rtse drung] A monk official in the Tibetan government.
  • Tsidrung Lingka [tib. rtse drung gling ka] A park/grove in the southeast part of Lhasa by the river.
  • Tsidrung Linga [tib. rtse drung gling ga] A park/grove in the southeast part of Lhasa by the river.
  • tsikhang [tib. rtsis khang] The Tax Accounting Department of the traditional Tibetan government. It was in charge of accounting for the barley taxes sent from the dzongs and estates that belonged to the government. It was also half of the Trungtsigye Council that was often consulted by the Kashag and that headed Tibetan assembly meetings.
  • tsipa [tib. rtsis pa] 1. A secretary in the Tsikhang Office in the traditional Tibetan government. 2. An accountant.
  • tsipün [tib. rtsis dpon] The title of the four heads of the Tsikhang Office in the traditional Tibetan government. This was the second most powerful lay office, falling just below the Kashag.
  • tsitrugpa [tib. rtsis phrug pa] A trainee studying for admission as a full government official in the lay aristocratic segment of the Tibetan government.
  • tsodra [tib. gtso drag] An important local district/county official in the traditional society who was selected from among the rich peasant households.
  • tsodrag [tib. gtso drag] An important local dzong/county official in the traditional society who was selected from among the rich peasant households or estates in the dzong.
  • tsog [tib. tshogs] 1. A prayer assembly meeting in monasteries when all the monks come to an assembly hall and chant prayers together. 2. An offering made of tsamba, butter and dry cheese in the shape of a cone.
  • tsogchen [tib. tshogs chen] The main assembly hall of a monastery. The assembly hall for the monastery as a whole.
  • Tsogchen chemmo [tib. tshogs chen chen mo] The prayer leader (Umdze) of the whole monastery.
  • Tsogchen shengo [tib. tshogs chen zhal ngo] The disciplinary head of the whole monastery (as opposed to a college).
  • Tsogchen trüku [tib. tshog chen sprul sku] The highest rank of incarnate lamas in the government system of ranking incarnations. Literally, the incarnate lama of the assembly hall of the monastery as a whole.
  • Tsogchen trülku [tib. tshog chen sprul sku] The highest rank of incarnate lamas in the government system of ranking incarnations. Literally, the incarnate lama of the assembly hall of the monastery as a whole.
  • tsogdam [tib. tshog gtam] A speech given in front of the entire assembly of monks.
  • Tsongjö [tib. tshogs mchod] The large religious prayer festival held in Lhasa in the 2nd Tibetan lunar month.
  • tsogjen [tib. tshog chen] The main assembly hall of a monastery. The assembly hall for the monastery as a whole.
  • tsoglang [tib. tshogs lang] The name for two monks debating in the midst of a large gathering of monks.
  • tsogpa [tib. tshogs pa] An association, organization, party.
  • tsomja [tib. tshom ja] The name of the khamtsen's prayer assembly meetings at which tea was served.
  • Tsöna [tib. mtsho sna] A district in southern Tibet.
  • tsondu [tib. tshogs 'du] 1. The general name for the various types of Tibetan government assemblies. 2. Any assembly, e.g., the assembly (meeting) of monks in a college.
  • tsondu gyendzom [tib. tshogs 'du rgyas 'dzoms] The largest assembly of the traditional Tibetan government.
  • tsondu hragdü [tib. tshogs 'du hrag bsdus] The smallest Abbreviated Assembly of the Tibetan government. It consisted of the Trungtsigye, the abbots of Sendregasum and government officials selected by the Kashag from the various official ranks.
  • tsondu hragdü gyeba [tib. tshogs 'du hrag bsdus rgyas pa] The enlarged Abbreviated Assembly of the Tibetan government that included the trungtsigye, the abbots and ex-abbots of a select number of monasteries such as Sera, Ganden and Drepung, and representatives of ranks of the Tibetan government.
  • tsondzin [tib. 'tsho 'dzin] 1. A kind of "trustee" for a family or labrang who oversaw economics and gave advice. For example, when the father of the 14th Dalai Lama died, the government appointed two officials to act as tsondzin for his family. 2. An administrative leader in Chushigandru. They were in charge of non-military things like supplies and the dealings with the local population.
  • tsongdu [tib. tshogs 'du] 1. The general name for the various types of Tibetan government assemblies. 2. Any assembly, e.g., the assembly (meeting) of monks in a college.
  • tsongjö [tib. tshogs mchod] The Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in the second Tibetan month
  • tsongjö sebang [tib. tshogs mchod ser sbreng] The religious procession that takes place during the Tsongjö on the 30th of the 2nd Tibetan month.
  • Tsongkapa [tib. gtsong kha pa] The name of the founder of the Gelugpa sect.
  • Tsongön [tib. mtsho sngon] 1. Amdo. 2. Lake Kokonor.
  • tsoramba [tib. tshogs rams pa] A geshe who passed his exam during the Tsongjö Prayer Festival. This type of geshe title is lower than Lharamba.
  • tsugdrang [ch. zhu zhang] Team leader.
  • Tsuglagang [tib. gtsug lag khang] The famous temple in the center of Lhasa that also housed important government offices, like the Kashag. The Jokhang is part of this temple.
  • tsugtung [tib. tshugs thung] A type of "headless" script in Tibetan that is larger than cursive script, but smaller than the block print script. It is a type of Ume script.
  • tuan [ch.] Regiment in the PLA.
  • tuanzhang [ch.] 1. Commander of a regiment in the PLA. 2. Head of a small team or group.
  • tülku [tib. sprul sku] An incarnate lama.

U

  • Uchö [tib. dbu chos] Abbr.: The Umdze (chant/prayer leader) and the Gegö (disciplinary head of a tratsang) in monasteries.
  • uchen [tib. dbu can] The style of Tibetan writing that is used in printing. The equivalent of block letters.
  • uchung [tib. dbu chung] The second highest rank for wood-block carvers and other craftsmen in traditional Tibet.
  • ula [tib. 'ul lag] A generic term for corvée labor that had to be performed for one's manorial estate/lord without pay. One kind of ula required people to go and work and another kind required the provision of transportation animals.
  • Uma [tib. dbu ma] The Madhyamaka text ("the Middle Way").
  • Umajugpa [tib. dbu ma 'jug pa] The Madhyamakavatara text ("Entering the Middle Way").
  • Umdze [tib. dbu mdzad] The name of the chant/prayer leader in a monastery.
  • umey [tib. dbu med] The style of "headless" Tibetan writing that is intermediate between printed style and cursive.
  • üpong [tib. dbul phongs] The communist term for the "poor" class.

W

  • wonkor [tib. 'ong skor] A summer festival where religious scriptures and statues were carried by villages in a procession throughout the fields to ensure a good crop.

X

  • xian [ch.] A rural administrative unit in post-1959 Tibet that is comprised of several xiang. It is normally translated as a county and is roughly equivalent to a dzong in the traditional society.
  • xiang [ch.] An administrative unit that contains several villages. It is sometimes called a rural township in the literature on China. Several xiang are part of a xian (county).
  • xiang zhang [ch.] The head of a xiang.
  • xian zhang [ch.] The head of a xian (county).

Y

  • yab [tib. g.yab] A roof-like projection or verandah located on the top of a house.
  • Yabshi [tib. yab gzhis] 1. The title given to a family of a Dalai Lama. 2. When used by itself, e.g., Yabshi's house, it refers to the family of the current Dalai Lama.
  • Yabshi Trunyi [tib. yab gzhis drung yik] The "title" of the secretary/clerk of Gyalo Thondup whose personal name was Lhamo Tsering.
  • Yadong [ch.] The Chinese name for the Tibetan town called Tromo that is located on the Sikkim border.
  • yarchö or yarchö chemmo [tib. dbyar chos or dbyar chos chen mo] The month long monastic term/semester that took place in Summer.
  • yarne [dbyar gnas] The summer retreat of monks.
  • yarsor [tib. ya sor] The title of the two officials who acted as "generals" of the people dressed in ancient military armor during the ritual military activities that were performed annually during the time of the Mönlam Prayer Festival.
  • yigcha [tib. yig cha] The tsenyi teaching materials used by a monastic college.
  • yigtsag [tib. yig tshags] 1. An official in charge of documents or records. 2. The officials in charge of the documents and records of the Tibetan assembly. This included taking notes dictated by the assembly leaders and writing the assembly's documents.
  • Yigtsang [tib. yig tshang] The highest office dealing with monastic and religious affairs in the traditional Tibetan government. It is often called the Ecclesiastic Office. It was headed by 4 fourth rank monk officials called Trunyichemmo. The senior Trunyichemmo was called Ta Lama.
  • Yigtsang nyerpa [tib. yig tshang gnyer pa] The secretary of the Yigtsang Office.
  • Yigtsang lobtrug [tib. yig tshang slob phrug] Students who went through the Yigtsang Office to get the training to become Tibetan government monk officials. These were few in number and were usually from the households of top officials, such as the Trunyichemmo. This was a faster way to become a monk official.
  • ying [ch.] An infantry battalion in the PLA.
  • yö [tib. yos] Roasted barley kernels that have been popped like popcorn. Yö is eaten as a snack and tsamba is made by grinding yö into a flour-like consistency.
  • Yongdzin [tib. yongs 'dzin] A tutor of a high lama or the Dalai Lama.
  • Yönru Magji [tib. g.yon ru dmag spyi] Commander of the Left Horn/Wing (in Chushigandru).
  • yuan [ch.] China's basic currency unit. A yuan is divided into 100 fen and 10 jiao. It is also known as renminbi or "people's currency."
  • Yügye Tashi Delek [tib. g.yul rgyal bkra shis bde legs] The Tibetan government's "Victory Congratulations" mission that was sent in 1946 to congratulate the Allies after their victory in World War II.

Z

  • zhongyang [ch.] 1. The Central Committee of the CCP. 2. The Central Government of China. 3. Sometimes it also conveys "China."
  • zhuren [ch.] Director of a unit or office.
  • zi [tib. gzi] A valuable agate-like stone used for jewelry that has designs (usually black and white) that are called "eyes."

Ü

  • üpong [tib. dbul phongs] The communist term for the "poor" class.
  • Ütsang [tib. dbus gtsang] The two major sections of Central Tibet: Ü and Tsang. Lhasa was in Ü and Shigatse and Gyantse were in Tsang.
  • Ü-tsang [tib. dbus gtsang] The two major sections of Central Tibet: Ü and Tsang. Lhasa was in Ü and Shigatse and Gyantse were in Tsang.
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