Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 7, Winter 2002

1. The Herdsmen’s Dilemma by Karma ura

Migratory herding is still an important part of the livelihood of a significant section of the Bhutanese people; but it was central to our traditional pastoral economy. Cattle, grazing land, labour and cultivatable land were the four primary sources of wealth in the past. A balance among these four factors of production had to be struck for the agrarian society to be sustained. Obviously, the area of grazing land, and the number of cattle depended on it, could not have been so large as it was if forests were allowed to grow with rampant vigour, as we do now.

2. Grazing Management of Temperate Grassland and Fallows by Walter Roder

The paper provides a general overview of fodder resources and their management in temperate Bhutan (altitude range of 1500-3000m). The terms are used as defined by RC-Jakar (RNR-RC-Jakar, 1996). As per these definitions, temperate pasture can include any kind of land used for grazing. When referring to registered grassland or tsamdro, only the term tsamdrog is used. Where possible, the term pasture is replaced with more specific or more appropriate terms.

3. Grazing Management in National Parks and Protected Areas: Socio-economic and Legislation (Tenure) by Sangay Wangchuk

Grazing by livestock has been an important issue for the management of the national parks and protected areas. Generally, it has been observed that grazing has negative impact on the ecological stability of the grazing area, albeit at varying levels. This impact results primarily from two sources- browsing of the ground flora and erosion as a result of hove marks. Several studies have been carried out to assess the impact of grazing on the resiliency of the eco- system. While most studies have revealed that there is a negative impact on the eco-system, the issue of separating it from the resource use patterns of the rural households and communities has been difficult to reconcile.

4. Condition and Potential for Improvement of High Altitude Rangelands by Pema Gyamtsho

This paper is an extract from the Ph.D. thesis of the author “Assessment of the Condition and Potential for Improvement of the High Altitude Rangelands of Bhutan”. It deals with the factors influencing the degradation of rangelands in the high altitude areas of the northwest Bhutan, and proposes possible legal and technological measures to improve rangeland conditions.

5. Grazing Management in Broadleaf Forests by Lungten Norbu

This paper aims to document the current situation of broadleaf forest management, and assess THE impact of cattle grazing on broadleaf forests around Gedu, a typical broadleaf forest where grazing and wood production are practiced. An attempt is also made to propose an adapted forest management planning system that would enhance the co-existence of cattle grazing and wood production, along with other forest functions in broadleaf forests.

Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 6, Summer 2002

 1. Brief History of Rigsum Goenpo Lhakhang and Choeten Kora at Tashi Yangtse by Lam Kezang Chhophel

Lama Tshering Gyamtsho from Punakha Dratshang1 who lived during the 18th century was a close disciple of the 9th Je Khenpo2 Shacha Rinchhen. He was destined to explore the sacred places of Guru Rinpochhe3. In his quest, he reached a place called Pemaling located towards the north of Trashi Yangtse in eastern Bhutan. There he found a cave with clear body prints of Rigsum Goenpo (Jampalyang, Chhana Dorji and Chenrezig)4. A powerful local deity called Genyen Phanbu was the guardian of this sacred cave. The Lama befriended the local deity through his spiritual powers and built a small lhakhang for his meditation.

2. Folktale Narration: a Retreating Tradition by Tandin Dorji

To talk of folktales in the Bhutanese context is to discuss on a literary genre popularly known as khaju1 or ‘oral transmission’. It serves as an important tool of communication between one generation and another. Among others, the folktales comprise an indispensable portion of oral literature. In it is seen the manifestation of the popular imagination and creativity representing the Bhutanese patrimony which has been passed down from mouth to ear since time immemorial. The role that it plays in the transmission of moral values, philosophy, beliefs, humour, etiquette, and many other traits specific to the Bhutanese society holds an inescapably eminent place. Despite this importance, the documentation of folktales in Bhutan is still in its infancy.

3. Integral Development: Taking ‘the Middle Path’ Towards Gross National Happiness by Sean Boyd Frye Hargens

This article explores the new approach to development as it is manifesting in Bhutan in two parts. Part I discusses some of the alternative indicators of development that have been employed over the years and part II, the author introduces the field of Integral Ecology, inspired by Wilber’s model. Integral Ecology is an approach to the environment that incorporates science, culture, and spirituality in formulating appropriate responses to the environment

4. Legal Status of the Internet: Are There Lessons to be Learnt from Domain Names and Trade Disputes? by Lungten Dubgyur

In this paper, the author proposes to discuss the nature of the problem and prospects concerning trademarks and domain names disputes and to consider the existing dispute resolution mechanisms available. This paper is divided into three parts. The first part explains the over all situations in Bhutan concerning the introduction of Internet. It provides the basic concepts of trademark and domain name and focus on the issues that are of concern to the author such as the existence of possible conflicts and problems and specifically the arguments as to why there are disputes between trademarks and domain names. The second part explores and deals with the current situations concerning the dichotomy between trademark and domain name registration system. The third and the final part will be dealing with questions such as how the trademark and domain name disputes could be solved.

Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 5, Winter 2001

1. His Holiness the 13th Dalai lama and Bhutan House in Kalimpong by Her Majesty The Queen Mother of Bhutan, Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck

Her Majesty describes the events as she remembers from His Holiness the Great 13th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobzang Thubten Gyamtso’s visit to the newly built Bhutan House in Kalimpong in 1912 as a guest to her grandfather Raja Ugyen Dorji and his sister Ayi Thubten Wongmo.

2. On Bhutanese and Tibetan Dzongs by Ingun Bruskeland Amundsen

This paper reviews some of what is known about the historical developments of the dzong type of buildings in Tibet and Bhutan, and  thus discusses towers, khars (mkhar) and dzongs (rdzong). The first two are included in this context as they are important in the broad picture of understanding the historical background and typological developments of the later dzongs. The etymological background for the term dzong is also to be elaborated.

3. Guide to Chari Monastery – a Brief History of Chari Vajraya Monastery by His Holiness Nawang Tenzi

This is a translation of the description and history of the Chari Monastery (located in Thimphu) by the 68th Chief Abbot of Central Monastic Body. H.H Nawang Tenzin.

4. History of Has (Ha) Valley by Ven. Lam Pema Tshewang

Has (Ha) is situated in the west of the sandalwood Kingdom near Sikkim or the Hidden-Land Rice Valley. It is blessed with the presence of the three Boddhisatvas-Manjusri, Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani – the manifestations of all the Buddhas, who protect the three classes of beings, namely, the gods, the demi-gods and the humans that reside here. From this valley came forth sages who constructed two temples here, one of which was black and the other white. This sacred site, with its three ridges, is called Miri Punsum, meaning ‘The Three Brothers’ of Hills.

5. Guide to Chang Gangkha Monastery by Ven. Lam Pema Tshewang

This is a guide to Chang Gangkha monastery located in Thimphu valley, giving a detailed description of its significance and  how it was founded.

6. The Hidden Valley – Langdraney by Lhundup

It is a translation of the booklet on the Hidden Land of the Great Teacher and persevere of Buddhism, Ugyen Guru Padma Jungney (Lotus born) extracted by Lhundup from the mythological biography of Dorji Lingpa, the Discoverer of the Hidden Treasures.

7. Publications in Bhutan Since the Establishment of the ISBN Agency by Sonam Kinga

There has been a direct co-relationship between the printing industry and volume of publication in the country. Printing is not a new art. Traditional xylographic printing has been in existence for hundred of years in dzong and lhakhang. There, indigenous printing presses were established. Some of them still exist today. The National Library has a mini xylographic printing press and has about 10,000 wooden blocks covering about 20 religious texts. The construction of dzong in the 17th century and introduction of monastic syllabus across the country promoted the writings and publications of religious texts.

8. Patag – the Symbol of Heroes by Phuntsho Rapten

This paper attempts to describe the typology, process of manufacture and symbolic status and honouring system of swords and scabbards particularly of ceremonial patag cast and used by the Bhutanese. Patag symbolises authority and recognition of high honour and is therefore highly regarded and valued. This study is purely based on the findings of interviews held with retired civil servants, government officials, blacksmiths, and from a few available literature, and physical observation of patags. Photographs of swords and scabbards are used to the extent possible to give pictorial ideas and provide basis of comparison for similar researches. Patags are no longer cast in Bhutan. The Bhutanese blacksmiths cast only knives and short swords used for domestic purposes.

9. Perceptions of Security by Karma Ura

As a bridgehead between two economic, demographic and geo-political giants – India and China – has had great influence on our perception of security, which changes in response to internal and external circumstances. Issues of security occupy a great deal of attention of the state even in peacetime. It has become somewhat customary to assess issues from the point of view security because of the heightened and staunch sense of security in the country. This habit has had a constructive impact. Bhutan has been politically a stable country having been kept out of colonial domination, cold war and regional rivalries

Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume. 3 Number 1, Summer 2001

1. Local Resourche Management Institutions: a Case Study on Sokshing Mnagement by Sangay Wangchuk

A case study has been presented on Sokshing Management and its contribution to sustainable livelihood of the Bhutanese people. The case study was carried out over a period of three years taking three representative regions of the country as research sites. Since other local resource management institutions also form integral part of resource management regimes in a community, these have been briefly included in the discussion.

2. Sustaining Conservation Finance: Future Directions for the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation by Tobgay S. Namgyal

This paper discusses three scenarios for the future direction of the trust fund in Bhutan: as a financier of the government’s recurrent costs of conservation; as an autonomous parastatal conservation agency; and as an independent grant maker guided by strategic five-year planning cycles. These scenarios are evaluated for their potential to fulfill the trust fund’s social welfare mandate, as well as their possible contribution to gross national happiness (GNH), based on quantitative parameters established through a conceptual predictive model (Namgyal and Wangchuk, 1999) to measure the social and environmental well-being of Bhutan.

3. Sustainability of Tourism in Bhutan by Tandi Dorji

The royal government has always been aware that an unrestricted flow of tourists can have negative impacts on Bhutan’s pristine environment and its rich and unique culture. The government, therefore, adopted a policy of “high value-low volume” tourism, controlling the type and quantity of tourism right from the start. Until 1991 the Bhutan Tourism Corporation (BTC), a quasi-autonomous and self-financing body, implemented the government’s tourism policy. All tourists, up to that time came as guests of BTC, which in turn operated the tour organisation, transport services and nearly all the hotels and accommodation facilities. The government privatised tourism in October 1991 to encourage increased private sector participation in the tourism sector. Today there are more than 75 licensed tour operators in the country.

4. Ensuring Social Sustainability: Can Bhutan’s Education System Ensure Intergenerational Transmission of Values by Tashi Wangyal

As a result of economic modernisation and the initiation of planned economic development, there has been a tremendous improvement in the living standards of the Bhutanese people. Bhutan has also established diplomatic and trade links with many countries and is a member of numerous international organisations including the United Nations. On the flip side, modernisation has also led to the introduction of modern values that threaten to undermine the traditional values of the Bhutanese people.

5. The Attributes and Values of Folk and Popular Songs by Sonam Kinga

Songs and music are integral parts of Bhutanese culture not only as mere forms of entertainment but also as highly refined works of art reflecting the values and standards of society. Rigsar songs and music however, lack the artistic depth and seriousness of traditional songs. The most significant trend in the development of modern songs is the abrupt break away from religious themes, which permeated most traditional songs to very secular and urban concerns. In their similarity and association with English pop songs and songs of Hindi films, rigsar songs no longer function as a repository of and a medium for transmitting social values.

6. Mass Media: its Consumption and Impact on Resident of Thimphu and Rural Areas by Phuntsho Rapten

The media in Bhutan have progressively enhanced individual awareness by widening the scope of information transmission beyond the traditional face- to-face oral interaction to literacy-oriented communication and now to an electronic media. They have helped to share information about the past and present, depict social, cultural and historical aspects of Bhutan that helped to create a common culture, tradition and system of values. However, the mass media and information technology are increasingly becoming powerful instruments for the penetration of global culture and the values of a global market into Bhutan. This presents one of the greatest challenges to Bhutan as it transitions from a traditional society into the age of information and technology.

7. Bhutanese Context of Civil Society by Karma Galay

Moving from traditional community associations and forums to the emergence of new forms of associations provides both institutional and historical perspectives. Categories of associations and organizations are defined according to the nature of their activities, and the description of these activities illustrate the role of civil society in Bhutan. The role of social capital, such as trust and cooperation among the people, in the socio- economic development of the country, the role of government in creating an enabling environment for the growth of civil society, and some of the distinctive characteristics that differentiate civil society in Bhutan from civil society, elsewhere, are also discussed.


Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume. 2 Number 2, Winter 2000

1. Dorje Lingpa and His Rediscovery of the “Gold Needle” in Bhutan by Samten G. Karmay

Among the Buddhist ritual traditions that are still preserved and carried out as the central religious constituents of the annual festivals in Bhutan today those of Dorje Lingpa (1346-1405) stand out strikingly. This is particularly so in Bumthang area, Central Bhutan.

Dorje Lingpa is considered as one of the five great “treasure revealers” (tertön) among the Nyingmapa and an important Dzogchen master by the Bonpo tradition. He was thus an exceptional figure who clearly adopted an impartial approach to both Buddhist practices and the Bon, the non-Buddhist religious tradition in Tibet, in his spiritual quest. His approach therefore made him the precursor of what is later known as the “eclectic” (rime) movement of the nineteenth century (Smith 1970).

2. Population and Governance in mid-18th Century Bhutan, as Revealed in the Enthronement Record of Thugs-sprul ’Jigs med grags pa I (1725-1761) by John Ardussi and Karma Ura

This paper is a preliminary analysis of the first census of Bhutan’s population and economy, which was used as the basis for computing the distribution of gifts to state officials, monks and ordinary citizens in celebration of the 1747 enthronement of Zhabdrung Jigme Dragpa I (1725-1761) as religious head of state who was the first of the Mind incarnations (thugs sprul) of Ngawang Namgyal, founder of the modern Bhutan state, to be installed in this role.

The authors review the governing hierarchy and  has done a brief analysis of the population data and highlight some of the document’s special terminology, and suggest interpretations of certain data peculiarities.

3. The Monetisation of Bhutan by Nicholas Rhodes

The objective of this paper is to describe how Bhutanese society has become monetised over the years, at first very slowly, but rapidly during the last half century. I will briefly comment on the effect that monetisation has had on Bhutanese Society, and the potential conflict that exists between traditional values in Bhutan, which are largely non-monetary based, and so-called “modern” values, which are almost entirely money oriented.

4. On the Two Ways of Learning in Bhutan by Karma Phuntsho

Having involved in both traditional and modern systems of learning and scholarship, the author presents a case study of the encounter of the two systems of education – traditional and modern – in the Kingdom of Bhutan. The author argues that  all the changes and developments that the Kingdom of Bhutan saw in the last half of the twentieth century, the ones in education are the most evident, momentous and far-reaching. The introduction of modern education toward the end of the 1950s opened a new chapter in the history of learning and scholarship in Bhutan,  the rate of literacy increasing by leaps and bounds since 1959, affecting all sections of society.

5. Recent Bhutanese Scholarship in History and Anthropology by Francoise Pommaret

This paper presents the recent scholarship on Bhutan by the Bhutanese themselves and shows that the studies of these scholars are the offsprings of a long tradition of Bhutanese scholarship but that they also demonstrate new trends, which are in tune with the socio-cultural changes in the country.

Largely bibliographical, this paper also fully indicates the recent Bhutanese publications to interested researchers. The mentions of publications, which are often too unknown outside Bhutan because of problems of distribution, therefore aim at broadening the scientific knowledge of Bhutan on specific subjects.

6. From Living to Propelling Monument: the Monastery- Fortress (dzong) as Vehicle of Cultural Transfer in Contemporary Bhutan by Marc Dujardin

The object of study concerns Bhutan’s state-religious architecture, embodied by the monastery-fortress or dzong. Designated as Bhutan’s architectural tour de force, the monastery-fortress exhibits the very best of what this particular dwelling culture can achieve at a specific time juncture. To a large extent it is the majestic and monumental character that provides the monastery-fortress with its predicate of Bhutan’s architectural frontispiece. The issue at stake here, however, is not prompted by typological nor aesthetic concerns. The monastery- fortress not only exemplifies the endurance of a ‘lived’ medieval concept; it represents Bhutan’s archetype of public, political and collective architecture. Apart from the two primary functions it is traditionally associated with in Bhutan, i.e. a political and religious one, the monastery-fortress may well be approached as a ‘propelling monument, a culture magnet and vehicle of cultural transfer in contemporary Bhutan. To explore the ‘identity’ and ‘dynamics’ of Bhutan’s state-religious architecture over a longer period of time going back as far as 1783, the built history of some historically important monastery-fortresses will be reconstructed. By studying the practice of demolition and reconstruction associated with the monastery-fortress of Bhutan’s old winter capital Punakha, the identification and interpretation of some factors that enable the Bhutanese to organize the cultural transfer they need to further their quest for national identity and cultural uniqueness will be discussed.

7. Signs of the Degenerate Age: the Desecration of Chorten and Lhakhang in Bhutan by Richard W. Whitecross

According to the official figures issued in July 1999, 136 lhakhang and 1,132 chorten had been subject to theft, arson, desecration and their caretakers attacked and murdered. The thefts and the desecrations were a recurrent topic which fuelled discussion, and at times, disagreement. Arguably, they serve as a metaphor for the changes and the problems facing contemporary Bhutan.

8. Continuing Customs of Negotiation and Contestation in Bhutan by Adam Pain and Deki Pema

A concern for the maintenance of traditional values and customs in the processes of modernisation within Bhutan is evident in much of Bhutan’s official documentation. The fundamental importance given to the maintenance and fostering of Buddhism, its beliefs and associated institutions reflected in Bhutan’s rich culture, is constantly returned to and emphasized in commentary. Thus the establishment of the Special Commission for Cultural Affairs in 1985 “is seen as a reflection of the great importance placed upon the preservation of the country’s unique and distinct religious and cultural traditions and values, expressed in the customs, manners, language, dress, arts and crafts which collectively define Bhutan’s national identity” (Ministry of Planning, 1996, p.193). Equally the publication of a manual on Bhutanese Etiquette (Driglam Namzhag) by the National Library of Bhutan was hopeful that it “would serve as a significant foundation in the process of cultural preservation and cultural synthesis” (Publishers Forward, National Library, 1999).

9. The Politics of Bhutan: Change in Continuity  by Thierry Mathou

This paper is a tentative presentation of the normative architecture of the current Bhutanese polity. It identifies a hierarchy of principles and patterns, which have guided simultaneously the preservation of the traditional system and its adaptation to modern constraints. The main challenges are also described in order to assess the viability of the monarchy as the principal agent of change.

Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 2. Number 1, Summer 2000

1. The House of ‘obs-mtsho – the History of a Bhutanese Gentry Family from the 13th to the 20th Century by John A. Ardussi

One of the most important threads of ongoing research in Bhutanese history is the documentation of the origin and historical interrelationships among its regional elite families. For most of its history, Bhutan has been characterized by relatively decentralized government, a geographically complex land of fragmented ecosystems in which such families shared habitat and competed for local dominance (the term “ruled” is probably too strong a generalization). The ’Brug-pa theocracy which began during the 17th century was the first successful attempt to impose national unity upon a constellation of local self-governing units of great variety, which in some cases trace their ancestry back as far as the 8th century AD. Even under the Zhabs-drung Rin-po-che and his successors, local elite families strongly influenced the direction of state policies.

2. Ancient Trade Partners: Bhutan, Cooch Bihar and Assam (17th-19th centuries) by

Françoise Pommaret

Western writers have often projected the image of Bhutan as an isolated country, a kind of autarchic mountainous island. This article is an attempt to show that, in fact, Bhutan carried out a substantial trade with her southern neighbours – Bengal (Cooch Bihar) and Assam (Kamrup) – at least from the 17th century, if not earlier. This trade is documented in British reports and Bhutanese historical sources, although for the latter, references have been found dispersed in biographies. Bhutan also appears to have been influenced by the weaving and silk techniques of north-east India. Because of trade links and the fact that Cooch Bihar minted money for Bhutan, the latter was able to play a political role in Cooch Bihar until this region was taken over by the British in 1773. From that date, Bhutan was pressed by the British to open her roads to traders, as it was the shortest route to Tibet and Lhasa. However, Bhutan resisted but continued trading in North Bengal and Assam, selling horses, wool products, and musk, while importing cotton cloth, broadcloth, tools, spices and tobacco.

3. Change in the Land Use System in Bhutan: Ecology, History, Culture, and Power by Tashi Wangchuk

This paper argues that in Bhutan, historically the land has been in most part held private, though the popular held view is that it was a feudal tenancy mode.

4. Economy of Yak Herders by Pema Gyamtsho

It is widely accepted that an understanding of the environmental and socio-economic conditions of an area is a prerequisite for the identification and formulation of appropriate research and development strategies. It is important to know ‘why people do what they do’ especially in traditional societies which have remained relatively unchanged by the forces of modern technological advancement.

5. A Brief History of Tango Monastery by Tshenyid Lopen Kuenleg

Generally speaking, this kingdom of the Sandalwood Valley is the second Copper-coloured celestial palace or the hidden holy land of the Second Buddha Guru Padmasambhava. Through the miraculous powers of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the earth and all the rocks, stones, hills and mountains are manifested in the form of tutelary deities, both peaceful and wrathful, indicating how the sentient beings were subjugated and protected. Likewise, this is the place where the Compassionate Universal King Avalokitesvara revealed Himself in the self-emanated form of the Wrathful Hayagriva. Therefore, this is the holy place for retreats, the Siddhidhara, which was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava.

6. Consecration of New Ka-gong-phur-sum Lhangkhang in Kurjey, Bumthang by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche by Anonymous

The main consecration of the new Kurjey Temple was held on the 15 Day of the Fourth Month of the Wood Horse Year in the 17th Rabjung corresponding to June 8, 1990, which coincided with the anniversary of Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and Mahaparnirvana. The consecration ceremony was performed by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Trulkus and monks of Tongsa, Tharpaling, Nyimalung and Shechan Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche at Boudhnath, Nepal. His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Queen Mother, Their Majesties The Queens, Their Royal Highnesses The Princes and Princesses, senior monks from the Central Monastic Body and officials of the Royal Government attended the consecration and offered prayers.



                            དཔལ་འབྲུག་ཞིབ་འཇུག་ལྟེ་བ་ལས་ རྡོ་རྗེ་རྒྱལ་མཚན་གྱིས་བསྒྲིགས།

Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 1. Number 1, Autumn 1999

In this issue:

1. Father Estevao Cacella’s Report on Bhutan in 1627 by Luiza Maria Baille

The article introduces a translation of the account written in 1627 by the Jesuit priest Father Estevao Cacella, of his journey with his companion Father Joao Cabral, first through Bengal and then through Bhutan where they stayed for nearly eight months. The report is significant because the Fathers were the first Westerners to visit and describe Bhutan. More important, the report gives a first-hand account of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the Founder of Bhutan.

2. Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye and the Founding of Taktsang Lhakhang by John A. Ardussi

It is a translation of the portion of the biography of the 4th Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgye (1638 – 96) which describes his visit to the sacred cave of Taktsang Pelphug during the Tshechu season of 1692, and his founding there of the temple devoted to Padma Sambhava known as Gu-ru mTshan-brgyad Lha- khang – ‘The Temple of the Guru with Eight Names.’

3. The Rapprochment between Bhutan and Tiber under the Enlightened rule of rDe-srid XIII Shes-rab-dbang-phug (r. 1774-63) by John A. Ardussi

The story is by now well known, of how a dispute over recognition of the legitimate rebirth of Kun-mkhyen Padma- dkar-po led to its split into a Northern and Southern branch, and to the founding of an independent ’Brug-pa state in Bhutan. The struggle, whose seeds were sown during the 15th century, pitted the claimants for supremacy by reincarnation against the supporters of the traditional pattern of “uncle – nephew” succession, and culminated in the flight to Bhutan in 1616 of the man who founded the modern state, Zhabs-drung Rin-po-che Ngag-dbang-rnam-rgyal (1594- ?1651)

4. Coinage in Bhutan by Nicholas Rhodes

In Thimphu, and elsewhere in Western Bhutan, it is still possible to find many examples of the old copper coins, known as Matam, Chetam and Zangtam. Old silver coins can also be found, although less frequently. Very little, however, has been written about the background to these coins – who made them, where and when, and how they were used. The purpose of this article is to set out what I know about these old Bhutanese coins, not only to present the information more widely, but also in the hope that there will be people in Bhutan who will be encouraged to provide additional evidence from oral tradition, written records, or from any other sources. Elderly people may still be alive who remember such coins being struck, but unless their memories are recorded soon, the information will be lost forever.

5. Bhutan: Political Reform in a Buddhist Monarchy by Thierry Mathou