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L_1200_0016
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A deed executed by Chiriṃ Buṭi of Sāmāgāũ providing for the future emancipation of her female slave Kārto (VS 1949)

ID: L_1200_0016


Edited and translated by Manik Bajracharya
Created: 2020-03-12; Last modified: 2020-11-23
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Published by Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities: Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal, Heidelberg, Germany, 2020. Published by the courtesy of the National Archives, Kathmandu. The copyright of the facsimile remains with the Nepal Rashtriya Abhilekhalaya (National Archives, Government of Nepal). All use of the digital facsimiles requires prior written permission by the copyright holder. See Terms of Use.
The accompanying edition, translation/synopsis and/or commentary are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License CCby-SA.

Abstract

This is a deed of emancipation executed by Subbenī Chiriṃ Buṭi of Sāmāgāũ in Aṭhāra Saya Kholā. It officializes provisions to free her female slave Kārto, whom she had bought for 35 mohararupaiyās, after the death of her husband.


Diplomatic edition

[1r]

1श्री­\

[Unknown seal]

1लेषक­साछी­राइटर­वाका­विर­श्रेष्ठ­स्ही­¯¯¯¯¯ १­

1लिषितम्­१८­स­षोला­मध्ये­स्यारपट्टी­भोट्‌­सामागाउं­वस्न्या­
2सुव्वेनि­छिरिं­वुटि­आगे­•यहि­साल­गाउमा­साह्रो­अनिका
3ल­पर्दा­षाना­वेगर­•सवै­मर्‍या­•हाम्रा­पनि­घरमा­•सावगास­नहुं
4नाले­अंन­षाना­वेगर­मर्न­लागीयो­•मेरो­ज्यू­दाता­भै­•तपाञीका­
5घरमा­•जुनिभर­कारिय़ा­भै­वस्छु­•भनि­सोही­गाउ­वस्न्या­•छि
6रिं­वुटी­तोङाकी­
छोरि­कार्तोले­•मेरा­घरमा­आइ­रुंदा­करा
7उंदा­•लौ­भनि­•निज­कार्तो­वर्ष­१८­उमेर­भयाकी­षाना­वेगर­मर्न­ला
8ग्‌दा­•र­•निजकी­आमा­•सानु­छीरिं­वुटिले­•पनि­मजुर­गरि­साछी­
9ग्वाहा­स्मेत्‌­राषि­कागजपत्र­गरि­दींदा­•निज­केटीको­मोल्‌­वदे­
10मोर्रु­३५­निजकी­आमा­•सानु­छीरिं­वुटीका­हातमा­गनि­दी­•नि
11ज­कार्तोलाइ­मानु­ष्वाइ­•काज­लाइराष्याको­हो­आज­•निज­के
12टीको­माञा­लाग्यो­र­•यस्लाइ­पार­दीन्यै­हो­भंन्या­मे⟪रा⟫­चीत्तमा­
13लाग्‌नाले­र­अरु­•२­जनालाइ­पनि­•मेरा­षसम­र­छोराले­
14स्मेत्‌­धर्म­गरि­छाडेको­देष्‌दा­•मलाइ­पनि­•छाडीदीउं­भंन्या­
15लाग्यो­र­•निज­कार्तो­करिय़ा­हो­ता­•पनि­•मेरा­षसम्‌का­ज्यूता
16भर­हाम्रा­चाकडी­गरि­वस्नु­षानु­•सेषपछि­आफु­सुषि­भै­जा
17हा­मन्‌­लाग्‌छ­•व़ाहा­गै­षानु­वस्नु­भनि­•धर्म­जानि­पार­गरि­
18दीञा­•कालकला­•हाम्रा­सन्तान्‌­दरसन्तान्‌­कसैले­•करिय़ा­
19होस्‌­•भनि­कार्तोलाइ­नपक्रनु­•पक्र्यो­भन्या­हाम्रा­सन्तान्‌को­
20हार­•कार्तोको­जित्‌­भनि­•मेरा­षुसि­राजिसंग­•धर्म­जानि­
21हाड्‌­चोषो­गराइ­पारपत्र­लेषि­निज­कार्तोलाइ­दीञा­इती­
22सम्वत्‌­१९४९­साल­मीती­पौष­सुदी­      रोज­      शुभ्म्­

Translation

[1r]

Śrī

[Unknown seal]

Scribe, witness and writer (rāiṭara) Vākā Vīra Śreṣṭha, signed – 1

Executed by Subbenī1 Chiriṃ Buṭi, a resident of Sāmāgāuṃ towards the Syāra2 side of the Bhoṭ region [and] within [the confines of] Athāra Saya Kholā.

Āge: When Kārto, the daughter of Chiriṃ Buṭī Toṅā3 who is a resident of the aforementioned village, came to my house and lamented, saying: "With the famine occurring this year in the village, all [those] people died due to the lack of food. Since there are no supplies in our house, we too are about to die from hunger. I will be the donor of my own body and will stay in your house as a slave (kariyā) for the rest of my life," I agreed to it. Since the 18-year-old Kārto was about to die without food, and since her mother Sānu Chiriṃ Buṭi agreed to it and signed the deed in the presence of witnesses, I counted out 35 mohararupaiyās and handed them over to the mother, Sānu Chiriṃ Buṭi, as the price of the said slave (keṭī). I have fed and employed her for work [since then]. Today I feel pity for this slave and that I should definitely free her. Having seen my husband and son, too, freeing 2 other persons in the practice of pious act (dharma), I also felt that I should free [her].

Even though the aforementioned Kārto is [still] a slave, I have freed her with the intention of dharma, stating: "She shall serve us and be fed throughout the life of my husband. After [his] death, she may happily go wherever she wants and live according to her own wishes." None of our descendants shall take possession of her in the future, stating: "You are a slave." If anyone takes possession of her, our descendants shall be defeated and Kārto shall be victorious.

I have, with pious intention, willingly freed4 the said Kārto, written this deed of emancipation (pārapatra), and handed it over to her.

...5 day of the bright fortnight of Pauṣa in the [Vikrama] era year 1949 (1892/1893 CE). Auspiciousness.


Commentary

This document in the private collection of Tsering Wangdu in Nubri is a deed providing for the emancipation of a slave posthumously. Issued by Chiriṃ Buṭi of Sāmāgāũ, it frees her slave Kārto on condition that she remains in service throughout the life of her owner's husband. Eighteen-year-old Kārto, with the permission of her parents, sold herself into slavery because the family was unable to support itself due to a famine that occurred in 1892. Another slavery-related document from the same area, E_3446_0032, specifies that the famine occurred in that area during the rainy season of the year.

The document emancipated Kārto from enslavement, but not from servitude. The expression used in this document to free her from slavery, 'hāḍa cokho garāi', is in causative case which might suggest that the emancipation was a separate act, possibly a ritual one. The document E_3446_0032 also uses somewhat similar phraseology suggestive of a ritual uplifting of the slave's caste and rice commensality status.


Notes

1. Wife of a subbā. []

2. Syāra/Śāra is the name of the 13 districts of Lower and Upper Tsum once given to the region by the Nepalese government, but it is not used in the local vernacular. It may be related to the Tibetan word shar, which means "east". []

3. This word is unclear in the original. Her name is mentioned as Sānu Chiriṃ Buṭi later in the document. []

4. Hāḍa cokho garāī, lit. "having [her] bones purified"; This expression, similar to 'hāḍapāra' in the Ain, is used when a slave has been freed from enslavement, but not yet from servitude (Ain-54 § 82.16). []

5. The weekday and the day of the month are omitted in the original. []