Although academic interest in Sikkim affairs had increased recently, we still know relatively little about the structure of Sikkimese society. The tradition of Tibetan Buddhism has tended to dominate the energies of most scholars interested in this area and topics such as social organisation has been generally neglected. One of the most important neglected subjects has been stratification, an understanding of which is basic for understanding of the traditional social system. To understand Sikkimese social organisation and social processes of the village and the differentiated statuses within village is of critical importance. Unfortunately, most of the writings on Sikkim do not provide detailed information. It is the objective of this paper, therefore to exhibit this structural complexity by focusing on the nature of taxation in Sikkim. Through this examination of taxation, the salient features of village as well as important aspects of the general social and political organisation in Sikkim will be illustrated.
Cite this article:
Samten Doma Bhutia. Taxation and the Structure of a Traditional Sikkimese Village during Namgyal Dynasty. Res. J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2020; 11(2):117-121. doi: 10.5958/2321-5828.2020.00020.0
1. Namgyal and Dolma, History of Sikkim, (Gangtok Sikkim, 1908) 12.
2. They are Lhatsun Namkha Jigmed, Katok Kuntu Zangpo, and Ngadag Sempa Phuntsog Ringzing.
3. First capital of Sikkim.
5. Melvyn C. Goldstein, Serfdom and Mobility of Human Lease in Traditional Tibetan Society, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol XXX, No. 3 (1971): 522.
6. Op.cit. Namgyal and Dolma: 39.
7. The common Sikkimese term for tax collector.
8. Bhutia Ethnic community were called Lhopos.
9. Tran Hong, Chogyal’s Sikkim: Tax, Land and Clan Politics, 2012 (Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples, Independent Study Project).
10. Suresh Kumar Gurung, Sikkim Ethnic Political Dynamics: A Triadic Perspective, (New Delhi: Kunal Book Publication, 2011): 99.
11. Consider as original inhabitants of Sikkim.
12. A.R. Fonning, Lepcha My Vanishing Tribe, (Kalimpong, West Bengal: Second Edition, Chyu-Pandi Farm, 2003): 8.
13. Palace Document/1.1/002, Sikkim Royal Archive, Gangtok, Sikkim, this document is the notification issued to all the lords and official of Sikkim and states that a Limbu was given the authority to collect taxes.
14. The term Mandal is not a Sikkimese word. It is the common word for the head of the village throughout Sikkim.
15. Geoffrey Gore, Himalayan Village: An account the of Lepchas of Sikkim, (Varanasi: Pilgrims Publication, 2005): 123.
16. Melvyn C Goldstein, Taxation and Structure of a Tibetan Village, (Central Asiatic Journal, Vol XV, No 1, 1971): 4.
17. Pedro Carrasco, Land and Polity in Tibet, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1959): 58.
18. Op.cit, Namgyal and Dolma, P-37.
19. Ibid. Appendix. P-22.
20. Op.cit, Tran, P-9.
21. J.R Subba, History, Culture and Customs of Sikkim, (New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House, 2008): 62.