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Construction Work and Wages at the Dergé Printing House in the Eighteenth Century

Construction Work and Wages at the Dergé Printing House in the Eighteenth Century ABSTRACT: During the eighteenth century, the powerful Kingdom of Dergé in eastern Tibet became a major political, economic, and religious center that gave birth to one of the most important printing houses in the Tibetan world. Written documentation about the construction of the building and the work performed by numerous artisans allows for a better understanding of the traditional economy in Kham in general, and of wage labor in particular. This article investigates the nature and terms of remuneration for construction and decoration work on the extension to the printing house that was built in 1744–1745. It demonstrates that, in Kham, tea and barley were taken as a reference value to estimate wages and, in so doing, lays out the methodology for comparing these data with those of Central Tibet, where the terms of remuneration were far more complex, including as many as ten different types of goods. This analysis contributes to a better understanding of the role certain goods and trade items played in the economy and lays the groundwork for the history of remuneration in Kham and Tibetan societies at large. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

Construction Work and Wages at the Dergé Printing House in the Eighteenth Century

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9674
Publisher site
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Abstract

ABSTRACT: During the eighteenth century, the powerful Kingdom of Dergé in eastern Tibet became a major political, economic, and religious center that gave birth to one of the most important printing houses in the Tibetan world. Written documentation about the construction of the building and the work performed by numerous artisans allows for a better understanding of the traditional economy in Kham in general, and of wage labor in particular. This article investigates the nature and terms of remuneration for construction and decoration work on the extension to the printing house that was built in 1744–1745. It demonstrates that, in Kham, tea and barley were taken as a reference value to estimate wages and, in so doing, lays out the methodology for comparing these data with those of Central Tibet, where the terms of remuneration were far more complex, including as many as ten different types of goods. This analysis contributes to a better understanding of the role certain goods and trade items played in the economy and lays the groundwork for the history of remuneration in Kham and Tibetan societies at large.

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 13, 2016

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