Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. XXXIII LANDHOLDING AND PEASANTRY IN THE BRAHMAPUTRA VALLEY C . 5TH-13TH CENTURIES A. D. BY NAYANJOT LAHIRI (Hindu College, Delhi) Introduction The basic historical sources of this period in the Brahmaputra valley are thirty two inscriptions, twenty of which record royal grants of land to the Brahmins (table 1). The text of these grants is largely taken up by the genealogies of the donor and the donee in verse, the reconstruction of the agrarian economy being dependent on the relatively smaller prose section which contains the description of the donated land and the rights granted with it. The settlements men- tioned in the inscriptions reflect only the riparian, rice-cultivating tract along the Brahmaputra and its tributary valleys. The hills which fringe this tract virtually on all sides are of no significance as far as the physiography of the inscriptional settlements is concerned. Secondly, these inscriptions are spread all along the east-west ends of the Brahmaputra in Assam and lend no credence to the assumption that "during the 5th-12th centuries, the land grants, by and large, represented islands of private domains in a sea of communally held tribal
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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