Conférence Jeannine Bischoff vendredi 6 novembre 2015

Dans le cadre du programme « Histoire moderne des sociétés tibétaines » de l’équipe Tibet, Bhoutan et aires culturelles tibétaines (TBACT) du Centre de recherche sur les civilisations de l’Asie orientale (CRCAO, UMR 8155), vous êtes invités à la conférence de :

Jeannine Bischoff (Université de Bonn) 

« Should I stay or should I go? – Mobility and its limitations among Tibetan ‘serfs’ (mi ser) in the time of the Dalai Lamas » 

Vendredi 6 novembre 2015 de 10h30 à 12h00

Collège de France, site Cardinal Lemoine, 52 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, Salle 1

Résumé :

“[T]he serfs attached to an estate were ‘bound’ to that estate. They did not have freedom of movement” – Melvyn C. Goldstein 1971: 522.

Although this quote leaves no doubt about the legal boundaries of serfs and “their” estates physical movement did take place in pre-1959 Central Tibet. Mobility has often been described as a key concept of human behaviour (de Haas 2009: 2). People generally and in this case Tibetan serfs in particular, always seem to find ways to make mobility happen. When we look at Central Tibetan serfs, we see that it were especially relatively short-distance moves that people undertook. The reasons found do not differ significantly from other societies: marriage, work, going on pilgrimage, becoming a monk or a nun; or joining the army. Although the wish to move for one of these reasons might have been mostly that of the serf him/herself, but in fact, he or she could not leave without one thing: the permission of the estate lord. Goldstein has described the concept of human lease (mi bogs) already in detail.

This presentation aims at adding to this description by showing–based on singular examples–the administrative procedure connected to mobility among Central Tibetan serfs during the time of the Dalai Lama’s reign. This involves different types of legal documents in which we do not only find amounts of human lease fees and legal conditions bound to the granting of freedom of movement, but also which reasons led to actual movement and who––apart from the estate lord and the serf––was involved in the process.