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Dotson, Brandon (2004) 'A note on zhang: maternal relatives of the Tibetan royal line.' Journal Asiatique, 292 (1–2). pp. 75-99.

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This article examines the meaning of the Tibetan kinship term źao (“maternal uncle”, “father-in-law” or “wife-giver”) as it applied to the maternal relatives of the Tibetan royal line during the period of the Tibetan empire (c.600—c.850). Based on a close examination of several Old Tibetan sources, the article demonstrates that the appellative źao was lent to members of an aristocratic clan when one of its ladies gave birth to a Tibetan emperor (or upon his subsequent accession to the throne), and that the title was retained for at least four generations thereafter. The investigation also reveals a proscription governing the marriage practices of the Tibetan royal line: no heir-producing marriage with a single maternal clan was permitted until a certain number of generations had passed since an earlier such union. The ramifications of this practice are then considered alongside a modern parallel, and the paper closes with a few extrapolations concerning the social structure of the Tibetan empire.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Tibet, social history, kinship, marriage, royalty, clans
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
ISSN: 0021762X
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2008 14:56

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