aware of it (although for how long is uncertain) The resulting real ization by the emperor Kangxi of what had been transpiring meant the end of Qj吨－Tibetan cooperation and the beginning of a period that would even田ally lead to Qjng domination and control of Tibet It has been argued recently由at the tragedy that befell Tibet in the middle of the 20th centurγ， i.e., the end of Tibetan indep 口1 dence and the absorption of Tibet into the People ’ s Republic of Chma, was in large part the result of an antiquated町stem in which strong au出o口tative leadership was absent from the time of one Dalai Lama’ s cleat』until such time as his succe四or attained his m句ority and tn ok power It W出 at just such a time of great weakness that the events leading to Tibet's annexation occurred The history of Tibet at the end of the 17th century also provides an object le臼on about the basic仕a且ty of the political system, but at a time closer to its origins. As we stated at the outset, the rise of the government of the Dalai Lamas into an insti阳也on of great au也ority in Tibet was a development of the mid-17th centurγ Yet its inherent weak ne臼 was such that by the end of that centu巧the influence wielded by the Tibetan government had been seriously damaged. This decline too was the product of an inteπegnum in which吐1e actwns of a regent (albeit one who was chosen by the Dalai Lama prior to his death) precipitated the end of a cooperative Qjng-Tibetan policy in Inner Asia and set in rnotion the events that would end with Tibet as part of the Manchu dominions and Qjng troops garrisoned in Lh出 a 自
CHAPTER NINE GOLD，叭TOOL AND MUSK: TRADE IN LHASA IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY Luce Boulnois Lhasa, city of golden temples and prostrating pilgrims，“Lassa or Barantola, Residence of the Great Lama" as the maps of the time show, w出 not only a ho与口ty and a political cap阳l; it was also a great centre for commercial trade which focused on it dreams由at were material as well as secular. Ti』et already had the reputation of being a countrγof commerce and merchants, where the government h 1oured trade, where every traveller or pilgrim brought something to sell, where everyone had the right to』uy and sell without口ther shop or licence (everγone except, in principle, the monks, but this rule could be circumvented). Trade-the country was, in any case, unable to do without it; the lack of certain commodities required it Internal trade between farm ers and nomadic stockbreeders, external trade with neighbouring countries, was a necessity. Tibet had, still has, unbalanced economic resources: it lacked commodities of p口me necessity, foodstuffs, prod ucts of the textile and metallurgical industries; 1t had, on the other hand, in abundance and beyond it’ s own needs, products desired abroad. Some of them fed a m勾or and far-reaching commercial trade, an impo口ant source of enrichment; the commodities of pri marγ necessity were the o问ject of trade of survival and proximity. These different时pes of trade existed for centuries. Contrarγto our current notion of a countrγclosed，击。由此den, isolated, and there fore mysterious, Tib时， m the 17th century and especially in the sec ond half of the centu町，offers the image of a countrγopen to forei gn merchants and missionaries. At least this is .what can be deduced from the contemporary Indian, Nepalese, Chinese, Armenian and Western accounts that have come dowu to us, tes毗ying to the vitali可 of trade and the diversity of travellers who reached Lhasa at 出at time. 飞
τ双ADE IN LHASA INτ'HE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
阳的Great Risk and Dijjicclty: G,d Sa,,e the Travel er!
。 E EEJ
Communications were difficult, however, in the first place because of geographical obstacles: the cold, snow and altitude of this岛时ress plateau surrounded by the highest mountains in the world-the Himalayas, Kunlun, Hengduan, where even the passes lie at more 由an 5,000 metres-a plateau blocked in its interior by other moun t缸n ranges; salt marshes to the north-west, considerable distances to travel, vast regions almost uninhabited or infested by』andits, deserts without pasture. Added to this, for those who came from overseas, were the risks of storms, pirates, dead calm, deadly reefs and other perils of the sea, before reaching吐1e terra firma of India. From all these voyages, on both land and sea, one did not always return; besides murder, drowning and other violent deaths, exhaustion and disease overcame many travellers, merchants or missionaries, pilgrims or sailors. Further on, we w过l see the risks to profi臼 and of mate rial losses, plundered caravans, goods lost or seized, travel costs and delays en route. 同
The Political Conditi,ns of Trade
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The仕ee flow of commercial movements depended however on the political situation, a factor more power且丘th目1 snow and bandits During the l 7th centurγ，the political situation w田 often troubled in Tibet; a long period of politico-religious conflict mirrors the strug gle for ascendancy betwee旦 diflerent groups, religious orde凹，mon aste口es, princely families: Gelukpa against Karma Kagγupa, the "kingdom” of D (Lhasa) against the “kingdom” of Tsang (Shigatse). And especially, the turbulence由at shook the Mongol world affected the political and religious situation of Tibet (or rather, before 1642, of the different Tibets), through the game of alliances and wars involving e出 tern and western Mongols, Manchus in r缸npant expan sion-Ming China until 1644, then Manchu China (Qjng). One can imagine出at rn periods of open war, commercial trade· was some times interrupted, diverted or limit时，but to recover immediately, or link up in another way On the other hand, external trade was also conditioned by the evolution of Mogul India and 甘胃口tablish ment in India of Western maritime and mercantile powers: after the
TRADE IN I是!AS出自THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
decline of the Portuguese，也e I 7th century saw the rapid expansion of the Dutch and the British. The trade of survival which included various types of barter, such as gr缸n for salt, salt for tea, tea for butter w田 widely preva lent inside出e countrγMoreover, a system of trading grain for salt seems to have existed for centuries on the borders of the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayan valleys ofindia, Nepal, Bhutan, all along the Himalayas. Tins system, which could still be observed in the 1960s, is based on the lack of salt within the land-locked Himalayan populations. On the other hand, the high Tibetan plateau is rich in deposits-especially lake deposits→of food salt As击or the Tibetans, they lack grain, fruits and vegetables. This system of barter sup ported a precarious regional economy and brought about a circula tion of goods almost independent, locally, of the great political clisturbances of the kingdoms, even though part of the grain likely contributed to feeding Lhasa. The great import-export trade between nations is a completely di丑erent story. The importance of 甘ade with Tibet for all由e surrounding coun tries is reflected in the military episodes, international treaties and rivalries between kingdoms, to take over the trade routes to Lhasa, to obtain certain pn叫leges and monopolies, one countrγsupplant ing another An apparently dull form of war, but war all the same, and sometimes open war, large scale trade m出e f让ld of action for the great predators. In Asia, the 16th centurγhad been the century of the Portuguese, of the trans先r through出eir hands, by way of Indian and Indonesian po口s, of a good pa口of the wealth in spices, gold, indigo, cotton fabrics and silks; of a slide towards the Indian ports of the com mercial overland flow across Asi战 somewhat devitalizing the routes that were called Oater） “The Silk Route" But from the beginning of the 17th century Portuguese power began to decline. Other preda tors were arriving: the Netherlands and England. The “East Indies Companies飞回cling companies with shareholders and monopolres, supported by their governmen臼，are successively created: in 1601 the British East India Company, in 1602 the Dutch V.O.C. (V盯eenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie); the French Compagnie d白 Indes only in 1664. Little by little, with difficulty but effectively, the Dutch and British forced the Portuguese from all 出eir s甘ongholds in India and Indonesia (Goa essentially remained theirs) and set themselves up triumphantly in the mercantile channels; they all had
their “factories” in the great cities and por阻，particularly in Surat, on the west coast of India, in G可ar旺，then a Mogul province. Surat, which was until the end of the 17th century the principal port in India，“the source and life of all the trade of the East Indies ” accord ing to one traveller of the出ne; Surat, where Gujarati, Mo伊L Persian, Arab, Armenian, Jewish, central Asian Turkic, British and Dutch and, later and brie衔，French, merchants all flocked. The products of all the West, the Middle East, Indonesia, China and all of India were traded there. The products ending up in Tibet or coming from there pa田ed through Surat. Trade with也e West was a source of enrichment自or the Mogul Empire. And the Moguls lent a hand to the proce臼 This set of cir cumstances constituted new breath: it is not by chance that this same period saw Trans-Himalayan trade with Tibet 白守and, a currency appear in Tibet, and Lhasa filled m也foreign merchants.
The Appearar四 of Currency扭刊d Towards the end of the 16出 century, central Tibet, whic』until then had not used metal coins and would have known, it is said, only barter in kind, began to make use of silver coinage This currency W出 not made in Tibet by the Tibetans but, curiously enough, came to them仕om the south, from Nepal: in a way, they bought出口r cuπency, not being able, for religious reasons, it is S缸d, to make it themselves In Nepal, the Newar kings of the Malla d严iasty who reigned over 由e Kathmandu Valley had themselves begun making silver currency only after 1565; until then they had contented themselves with cop per coins. This monetarγevolution, realized after agreement 明白 the Mogul emperor, marks at the same time an economic boom and an intensi丑cation of trade in these regions. Subsequently, King Mahendra Malla who had struck the 且rst sil ver coinage, or one of his successors, concluded with the govern ment of Lhasa an agreement according to which Tibet would henceforth be supplied with silver coinage by the king of Kathmandu, according to出e following device: with silver ingots provided by the Tibeta时， the Katl1mandu mint would make half. rupee coins; these coins (ve町similar to the half二rupees made丑。r Nepal) would then be returned to Tibet, the Nepalese taking, in the process, a profit i
TRADE IN L:双ASA 1N THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
。』tained in pa口 m replacmg a small proportion of the silver in the coins by出e same weight of copper. This strange contract ended in 1792, following the serious problems in the 18也centurγ，but func tioned perfectly well, it seems, dunng the second half of the 17th centurγ These coins were used in central Tibet: Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse, the richest districts, the most populated，出e ones closest to south ern influences. Tbey were never med outside Tibet. Conside由工g也e value of silver at this time, the fact that there was no smaller denom ination than this half-rupee corn (however, people broke these coins into pieces to obtain smaller denominations), it can be assumed that 由1s silver cu盯叨叨 was not suitable岛r small day to-day expendi tures by the population, which， 旧1doubtedly not having copper coins at their disposal either--still practised barter in kind for small value trade. It seems that this contract had been imposed on 由e Tibetans; a number of factors enabled the Nepalese to put pre臼ure on them: t』e desire the Tibetans might have had to profit from the increased development of trade with Mogul India, mutual need, Tibet's m血 tary weakne田 at the 包me in question. 耳气Te w证I see fur吐1er on how this device was, if not imposed, at least re-imposed and confirmed about 1643. F
Tran俨Himalφan Trade： ηe Nψalese Route
Over the course of the 17th century, Tibet-Nepal trade was going to burgeon more出an ev吨bene直ting from two politico economic circumstances: first, from 1642 when the Fifth Dalai Lama was established in Lhasa as political and religious sovereign of a large, more or less un泊巳d Tibetan state extending from Kham to the bor ders of Ladalrn the development of Lhasa as adrninistrati时， reli gious and commer口址capital, gi咀ng rise to 吐1e influx of aristocratic families, the concentration of craftsmen and artists for the construc tion of religious and civil buildings, the appearance, all in all, of a richer clientele; second, a period of prosperity for the Mogul empire and active trade with countries overse出 This commercial boom, which drew the flow of goods in towards the big Mogul口ties, was to make the fo口une of, among others, the Malla kmgdoms of出e Kathmandu Valley in the role of forwarding agen臼 where they suc-
ceeded rn imposing themselves between Tibet and 山southern trad ing partners: India and the West. This trade to the south had as cen甘es, in Tib时，mainly Lhasa and Shigatse. Via the double Nepalese route Kuti-Kathmandu and Kirong-Ka由mandu, crossing the Himalayan range fairly easily, goods coming from central Tibet were sent in large part to Patna, in Mogi山l India. The Nepalese route w出 the most convenient，也e least difficult, the most sure. Infinitely more difficult was the route between Lhasa and Kashmir via the western Tibetan plateau; moreover, Ladalrn, worried about Mogul policies, closed its borders from about 1643 to 1664, which contnbuted even more to the diverting of the flow of trade to the Nepalese route; as for the journey via Bhutan, it would have been shorter and fairly practical if it had not』een closed poli包cally. Therefore, large-scale 甘ade，岛r these reasons, already pre ferred the Nepalese route Between Tibet and Nepal, religious, political and economic rela tions are ancient. From the 7th centurγA D. at least, when the m句or routes to central Tibet by way of Kull and Kirong were fre quented by merchants, pilgrims and Bud制st missionaries. Commercial relations flourished wi白白e setting up of Newar shopkeepers and craftsmen in Lhasa and Shigatse. Ambiguous relations, dictated by geography, embellished by religion and threatened by co且也cts of vested interests, imposed by五orce, periodically exploding into wars and invasions, but always resumed. Since 1967, a year-round (at least theoretically) road suitable岛r motor vehicles, built by Chinese engineers, allows travel仕om Kathmandu to Lh出a in twenty-nine hours by bus, spread over three or four days. Before that, the route unfolded to the rhythm of pack animals and human feet. For example, Ippolito Des1deri left Lhasa on 28 April I 721 and arrived in Kuti, then a border town, on 30 May 出at is to say, a month on the road. Not wanting to face出e Nepalese hot season, he stayed in Kuti for six and a half months; setting off again on 14 December, he passed N白ti (the old frontier) two or three days later and arrived in the Kathmandu Valley on 27 December: thirteen days plus thirty-two days, that is to say, forty 如e days, if one did not stop, between Lhasa and Kathmandu. Two other mi目ionaries, Johann臼 Grueter and Albert d ’Orville, who made the same trip m 1662, state: four days from Lhasa to the foot of the first range, plus one month up to Kuti, plus丑.vedays from Kuti to Nesti, plus且ve days from Nesti to Kathmandu; total: forty· four
days without stopping These times represented a moderate pace, with』orses in Tibet, on foot in Nepal. Heavily loaded trade cara vans, those that used yaks for pack animals, could be slower. One could moreover, be且arced to stop here or there for a few days. It was necessarγ as well to take 出e se田 ons into account: one did not travel willingly in either the height of the monsoon in Nepal, or出e depths of winter over the Himalayan passes Further south, for出e cro臼ing of the plains, through也rests infested with malaria, one would definitely avoid the summ盯 But in spite of all these obsta des, this route via Nepal remained the favourite of merchants and travellers. At that time, to go from Kathmandu to the big trade centres of India, merchants had to er。因a zone of moderately high mountains, then a low range, then the Terai plains dangerous because of malaria; one then entered, via Corre:hepur (Goral
τ及ADE IN LHASA INτ在王E SEVENT艺ENTH CENTURY
lished their pn吐leges and monopo且es. By the terms of this treaty, Newar merchants were authorized to set up thirty-h年o firms皿Lhasa; a representative of the king of Kathmandu would be accredited in Lhasa to ensure the protection of their interests; Newar merchants engaged in trade m出Trbet would be exempted去om all taxes and customs duties; if they died in Tib时， their po臼essions would go back to Nepal and not to the Tibetan govenunent; all trade from Tibet to India, even that conducted by non-Newar merchants, would be routed through the Kathmandu Valleγand by no other route (such 出 Sikkim or Bhutan). The governments of the Dalar Lama and the Malla kings would jointly control the forti且ed towns of Kirong and Kuti, which meant command of the two Lhasa Kathmandu routes. Furthermore, Tibet would pay Nepal a symbolic amount in gold and silver, and且nally, a m句or clause: Nepal would act as Tibet's mi肘， Nepal would supply Tibet wrth silver coins and for that would use silver ingots provided by Tibet or would purchase silver wi出 gold provided by Tibet. This monetarγclause is perhaps only the rea伍rmation at this point of a situation already in e且stence.认That is certain is that from 1645, the Malla kings and the Newar mer“ chants occupy a position of monopoly and have a stranglehold on Tibet-Nepal India trade which they will hold on to岛r more than a centurγ， and beyond the fall of the Malla kings. This situation seems to have been accepted 』y the Tibetans, who probably also found advantage in it. But what》 then, were these products so precious that, despite great difficulty and danger, made merchants come from the snowbound heart of Asia or from beyond the oceans? Prod町 ts Eψ町-ted by Tihet In t且e 17出 centurγTibet was world famous for the following prod ucts: musk, gold, medicinal plants, y法t 副ls，“s』awlη wool, and a few other articles. All these rare and precious products are fully descnbed in the accoun臼 of merchants and missionaries, among the geographers and historians, in dictionaries and trade handbooks of the time, especially for the second half of the century. Of these precious materials, surely the most famous, in the West, is musk.叭Te know that this substance, used in medicine and making perfume in Europe and Asia (in Europe, today, medical usage has i
τRADE IN LHASA INτZ王E SEVENTEENTI王CENTURY
disappeared and its use in perfume-m地ing is extremely reduced), is produced by a small quadruped resembling a fawn, the musk deer, whose scientific name is Moschus moschi而r町 It haunts the wooded mountains of e出tern Asia：出e Himalay出，Tibet, Tonkin, Altai, Korea, Manchuria, Siberia. It has always been hunted for the profit to be derived from its musk pouch, a small outgrowth出at only the males have, situated under the stomach, associated with the animal's sexual activity. This small pouch, which weighs from twenty to由irty gr田ns, is lined inside witl1 glands that secrete a出ick, otly, brown-red coloured substance, giving off a verγpowerful odour: pure musk The value of musk v 町ies according to its region of origin，由at from Siberia and Korea being less than that of the Himal町as. In出巳17出cen阳町， the most sought after on the interna包onal market are the musks of Tibet and Tonkin, especially because of their greater puri町，guaranteed by government controls; musk w 出 often adulterated in various ways by dishonest vendors. The animal has been hunted for so many cen turies that it is now protected as a species at口sk of exti 口ction; but at the time we are focused on, it seems that it was abundant. European perfume makers and doctors of the time used at least 田 much musk 出 their collea事1es in Persia, China or the Indies; this is attested to by therapy treatises from that period. The uses of musk varied according to the medical systems in various countries, but they included use as a heart tonic, antispasmodic, and treatment for snake venom, to help in childbirth and to soothe small children, and for a great. number of the most varied ailments The French mer chant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who lived in India between 1638 and 1668, purchased in one par也c叫ar year, at one time, 7,673 pouches, plus 452 ounces in bulk that is to say, a total of more than 92 kilograms from Tibetan merchants m出e city of Patna, which seems to have been at the time, along m出Kabul, one of the big markets for Asian musk. For this purchase he paid the equivalent of 14,357 French li r时， or francs, of his time; but he writes that rather than being p缸d in gold or silver coin, tl1e vendors much preferred to exchange the musk for coral and amber. According to Tavernier, in order to maintain Tibet's trade repu tation, the ' king” instituted an inspection of merchandise: musk pouches had to be presented open for inspection in Lhasa, so that the contents could be ven击ed, because people often adulterated this substance, mixing in blood from the animal or its mashed flesh, or adding lead to increase the weight; after the inspectIOn, the Tibetan
government inspector sealed the pouches and they left for Nepal, India, the rest of the world, and also, of course, to Xining, of which we w训speak further on. From Patna, the musk could continue its way to Delhi, Agra, Surat; from there, putting out to sea bound for a port on the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea, or directly to Europe by going around Africa; from the Red Se鸟 to the ports of Arabia and Alexandria. And from Kab吐， via the overland routes, the musk was routed towards cen tral Asia, to Kandahar, Isfahan, Tauris and the Mediterranean shores of the Middle East. Tibet's longest standing reputation in the economic sphere, apart from musk, was as a producer of gold. This reputation goes back, unbroken, to earliest antiqui时，without doubt as far back 出 the time of Herodotus who, in the 5th century B.C., handed down to us a tradition of “ant ’s gold ” which still amuses and intrigues many researchers. Today, what is considered to be the most probable hypothesis for由1s is that specks of gold were to be found in the ground-in which an m且nite number of marmots made their bur rows-in the口 uninhabited regions located in present-day Ladakh. In throwing out the earth as they burrowed, these marmots brought to light particles of gold, which neighbouring pop吐ations came to gather up. It was paid in tribute to the king of Persia. Tibet's gold-bearing reputation, in general, continued from ce岳 阳rγto cen田ηIt is, moreover, well-founded; but the importance of the production, and even more that of reserves, have undoubt edly been continually exaggerated. It is, nevertheless, a fact that for two thousand years and more, Tibet continually produced gold-dust from succ臼sive sit口. If, m 也e 17th centu町，stories of nuggets as big as a sheep ’s liver and mount缸ns peppered with gold, were already m也mg more than legend, gold-washing and the working of shallow mines supplied the state 甘easury in the fo口n of taxes, the growth of monastic wealth in the fo口n of offerings, the growth of private wealth, the decoration and architecture of palaces and temples, and external trade. This was where Nepal obtained the gold that吐M Newar goldsmiths and statue makers used. It was ·not minted into coins, but left as Tibetan gold－『dust, held in small leather sacks con t缸nmg a half-to/a (about 5.8 grams) called “血口归” ，which were eas ily transported: gold was accepted everywhere. From time to time (even toda俨） one sees the reappearance of some fantastic rumour a忧ributing fabulous gold mines to Tibet: in
TRADE IN LHASA IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
出C 阻me way the two Jesuit mis币ionaries who crossed Tibet and Nepal in 1662, Grueber and d’ Orville, related (in ma Ilhs阳ta by Athanasius Kircher) that in the region of the town of Changur, cap ital of a kingdom occupying north east Tibet, situated fifteen days travel from Lhasa, between Lhasa and Kokonor, were “五ourteen gold mines, the quantity of which supplied all of India ” According to a perso口al communication from Ren Xi町ian (Institute of History, Sichuan Academy of So口al Sciences），出e town of Changur is Dengke in the county of D盯ge. Dengke is situated on the left (eastern) ba口 k of the Yangzi River, in the pro叽nce of Sichuan, about 98。 E and 32 。 30 ’ N There certainly was gold in this area, but not so much as to supply all of India! 认/hat could seriously attract foreign merchants, then, was not so much the quantities of gold that Tibet could supply, but the price at which it could supply it. Now, it seems that Tibetan gold was very cheap, on the spot, compared to what a no 口－producing coun try could buy from the Spanish, the Portuguese, rn Af口ca 由1d in India. The price ratio between gold and silver at the end of the cen tu町was of the ord 巳r of 1 to 14, or 1 to 15 in the West (1 gram of gold being worth 14 to 15 grams of silver), 1 to 10 in China, and in Tibet it could go down to 1 to 10, 1 to 9 and even lower. There was, therefore, a good, attractive market there. Furthe 口口ore, un山区e many countries, Tibet did not hinder the export of gold pro duced on i臼 territory. The passage of gold through Nepal was the monopoly by the Malla kings. However, we know that Tibet also exported gold to Ladakh, and to Xining for the Chinese market, and that Armenian merchants purchased it in Lhasa and Xining to take back to India. At the beginning of the 18th century, the “gold-bearing ” rumour of Tibet reached the ears of Peter the Great, who dreamed of seiz ing “the Dalai Lru丑的gold ” He did not have time to carrγout his plan. There is, however, an edict from him from which it emerges that he had conceived a plan to send to Lh田a, on由e pretense of engaging in trade, informants expert in mining. It was perhaps these "Muscovites” ，supposed merchants, that Ippolito Desideri reported in Lhasa during his stay in the city 仕om 1716 to 1721. But it is not known for how long they were there. Another category of export from T由巳t in the 17th centurγ，was (and st山is) medicinal plan 臼 and other materia medica At that time, it was not a question, like today，。f fritillarγ，C01吵cψs si"ensis or snow
lotus, but rhubarb, worm-seed (Ar.的nisia maritima), mamiron, zedoary, peonies and medicinal mallows. Everγone knows medicrnal rhubarb. which was consumed in large quantities in Europe; the most highl; rated varieties were those from Tibet and Tartary; much of it passed th1ough Pama and Kabul, marketed in the击。rm of dried sections of roots and rhizomes; it was prescribed in Europe as a purgative, tonic agent, digestive and 田tringent, in Nepal, for snake-bite and stomach trouble From Tibet came, as we且，叫orr汗seed、 fill artemisia‘ a known anti-I咄ninth remedy, also used, according to Tavernier: by the Persians, the British aJ1d the Dutch, in place在ani盹 in th 口 sweets. An叫ort from the southern Himalayan regions of Tibet, more especially around Dzongka =d Kiro吨，was zedoary, a word that seems to cover several non”poisonous aconites such as Aconitum i prescribed for snake-b风various digestive problems, the �eψ叼叫 "levers", and as a tonic and antidote. Mamir,凹， which was used as a treatment for eye diseases, was also derived from a Tibetan plant Medicinal aJ1in1al products also made up part of Tibetan 白甲Orts (they are still used in Chinese medicine): besides musk, already men tioned, leopard bone, bear bile, bezoars (internal co血retion;) from _ cows, newly grown stag horn, boiled and dried scorpion, all prod ucts that were plentif吐 m Kham at出at四时 The trading of furs was much more important than today: there was little heating and for months travellers were exposed to severe tempera阳r臼 Tibet w田 abundant in martens; the snow leopard was not yet scarce; the fox and the wolf were abundant. In spite of the brake that Buddhism represen臼， Tibetans and Mongols of this period hunted a lo卜啊ith less skill than the Russians, claims Tavernier. Among the oldest of Tibet's export products, yak tails must also be mentioned, marketed aero 且 India under the n 缸丑e of “chowrv＇’ (Skr. chama叫superb white and black plumes, the 町＝ els of whi�且 can reach two metres in len事h These tails served as fly swatters, but were also symbols of power, decorating standar必or stafls of command in the Turkish, Indian and Chinese worlds. Later ‘ there will be industrial us 臼 for yak tails There should be no mistake: this γas not a g口nmick, it was an item of 口port found on trading lists, lrom antiqu町， all through the centuries.
So far we have listed the rare, precious or curious prc ducts that most attracted the attent10n of foreigners; more common, but per haps equally pro且table (we lack the figures) were the basic products
of the Tibetan economy: those of its由o cks and herds Sheep, goats, yaks, hybrids of yak and cow, horses, mules, asses, camels （出e lat ter in the north), a few pigs here and也ere, totalled millions of head. Further along we will touch on the products of the “shawl ” goat, exported particularly to the 耳叩est, and horses ，白<:po口ed to China. It seems that at that time Tibet exported a heavy yak-hair serge, raw sheep ’s wool and woolen cloth. The accoun臼 at our disposal do not mention a massive export of raw sheep ’ s wool 田 will be seen later, in the 19th and 20th centuri臼（today’s sheep breeds provide, in par ticular, carpet and 』lanket wool). On the other hand，由ey report products that seem to have disappeared from the countrγa grey felt known as “ silver and iron’ ：自口e woolen cloth and “a very beau tiful woolen cloth that resembles silk飞made in Tsethang in central Tibet. There seems to have been at that time a high-quality textile craft industry Tibetan carpe臼 are already mentioned as well That Tibet could have been a producer of silk is something出at seems curious to us today; and yet, two witnesses present in Lhasa in 1720-an Italian missionarγand a Chinese officer-each sepa rately testifies that Tibet W出 selling silkworm cocoons and Tibetan silk (the Chinese princess who was given in marriage to a king of Tit巳t in the 7th centu町，is she not supposed to have introduced sericulture to Tibet?). Desideri also mentions a wild silk, a “ tree silk" produced on the borders of Bhutan and sold throughout the whole of Tibet. There is no由mg surprising in that: Assam, which is not far from there,. also produced a well known wild silk. One does 口ot often see the production of borax mentioned. Borax or sodium borate, abundant in Tibetan lakes, was used in the past for metal soldering, and was an important object of trade in the 19th centurγ On the other hand, one且nds articles mentioned for the 17th century that seem to have disappeared from Tibetan soil: iron仕om the region of Kuti, paper from Dagpo, lapis lazuli frorn Lhorong dzong, turquoise from Chaya (Tibet was a modest pro ducer and a big user and importer of turquoise), rock crystal from 由e Yarlung region seems to have lost its importance, although touris臼 see small pieces of it offered for sale Also mentioned as products at the end of the 17th centurγare an incense paste made of various vegetable substances, used for religious umigation, and bowls of veined woed, verγmuch sought after
yi应堆在嵌誓辈密罪？ 在tt kt屈 p tw it ？P
h fE E
TRADE IN LHASA IN Tl王E SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
Trans-Himalayan Im, orts But what did Tibet import from the south, in exchange for all the precious products-gold, musk that went out? Tibetans obtained food products from among也eir neighbours: gr缸n from border trade; more gram from the Kathmandu Valley at that time called the Nepal Valley--as well as sugar, chillies and various vegetable produce. They also imported food products from China, particularly tea. Having no factories for the preauction of metal goods，出ey also imported small agric吐阳ral implemen囚，weapons (swords and knives, bulle臼， gun hammers), padlocks and locks; also mentioned are, at least for 出e verγend of the 17th centu町，glass bottles, small m时O白， silk and cotton fabric, pieces of copper and i copper o均jec吨d归ng products like “ ma可 it＇’ or madder, which dyes red, odoriferous products for making incense, Kashmiri saffron. No less essential than the foodstuffs, the coins used in Tibet were, as we have seen, imported fiom Nepal. Imports reported with the most insistence by Western merchants (no doubt because they concerned them more）町e those of precious materials: Tibet was a buyer of amber, coral, turquoise, conches, pearls and precious and semi precious stones, as well as articles made of gold and silver. We know the importance of coral, turquoise and amber in the Tibetan civilization: necklaces, ea口卫1gs and reliquaries are in］且d with coral and turquoise, and decorated with large amber beads; wealthy and highly placed people, lay and religious, have rosaries of coral, amber, pearls, rock crγstal and lapis lazuli. Amber, coral and turquoise are almost part of everyone ’s wardrobe, and statues in temples are profusely adorned with them. All or nearly all the coral imported by the Tibetans came from the shores of the Mediterranean. In the 17th century, red coral, or pink, used in jewelle町，was ga出ered mainly in nine Mediterranean fishing zones situated on the coasts of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Catalonia and M句orca and on the Barbary Coast of Algeria and Tunisia The coral was marketed most often in the form of grains or beads, polished in the workshops of Marseilles or Italy. They were made into necklaces, bracelets and rosaries. The largest pieces, which went to sculptors, became cameos, large brooches and statuettes For the Eastern market, unpolished pieces were also shipped so由目击时－ eigu artists could work them in their own way. It was customarγm 田
the West to set aside fine intact branches, which were rare, and give them as they were to kings and churches. This custom crossed the seas, since Desideri, in 1720, notes出at the Tibetans, to whom blood sa口诅ces were repugnant, offered to their lamas and to their "idols ” 3 on the altars, such things as lamps, Chinese silks, gold and silver, perfumes to burn, or “branches of coral and other curiosities" The crates of coral p臼sed through Alexan出扭，the ports of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf Surat；仕om出e co田ts of the Mediterranean, they travelled to Persia·一一Isf.油an, whence Armenian merchants took them to Kabul, Balkh, Agr飞 Patna, Leh, Lhasa, Xining. Why such infatuation, so lasting, so universal, for coral? The beauty, the colour, the virtues attributed to it of protection against evil forces, demons, bad luck. It is, no doubt, about the自rst century AD. that coral, via the routes and the丑ow of trade that developed then, found a place among the precious materials particularly prized in Buddhism. Amber, as well, was (and still is) very much in demand in Tibet. It was extracted in Burma and China; but even more sought after was European amber, produced smce antiquity in one sole coastal region of eastern Prussia, on出e shores of the Baltic. Armenian mer chants went to Danzig (Gdansk) for their supply to take back to Asia; they even took an order for the “king of Tibet” According to Tavernier, four Armenians, after a trip to Tibet, went to Danzig “to have a quantity of yellow amber丑gures made, which represented all so口s of animals and monsters, that they were going to take to ”（Bhutan is one of the names by which the King of. Bhutan Westerners referred to, at that time, not也e Bhutan of tcday, but central Tibet). To their great regret, they were unable to击nd a large enough piece to fill one of the orders of the “king of Tib时 ” ： “a figurine in the form of a monster, which has six horns, four ears, four arms with six自ngers on each hand" Tavernier is Christian, and Huguenot: his description of the “ monster ” reflects this; he deplores this lure of gain because “it is a证le business to supply instruments of idolatry to吐出poor people” . For him, these Armenians too easily come to te口m飞机也 religion. Amber sold then in Patna from 250 to 300 rupees for a good piece of nine French ounces (about 275 grams), while the same weight in small unpolished, unworked pieces went自or only 35 to 40 rupees. Tibet also江口ported conches-Buddhist可自由ol and musical ins甘F ment in the temples-gathered on the shores of Indi 刮目 well, pearls
TR.A.DE IN Ll王ASA INτ"'HE SEVENTE卫ND王CENTURY
from the Persian Gulf, turquoise from Persia, precious stones from India. T必et Lada!.为 Tru1e
The western Tibetan plateau is the habitat of a goat which, in this terriblγcold climate, produces a downy under coat that can be removed by carding, spu丑 and made into an extraordinarily wa町口 wool, fine and light. It has been k旦own for centuries m the world by the name of “cashmereη，because it is mamly through the Kasluniri weavers and their famous shawls that it is widely known, originally, in Europe. This wool was exported raw to Ladakh, whose capital, Leh, was a crossroads for caravans between Tib时，Kashmir and Yarkand; worried about Mogul designs, the king of Ladakh closed its borders in 1643, but in 1664 he fell subject to the Mogul empir它 Then, after a politico-religious war WJ也central Tibet, he w 田 de在nitively 且arced, in 1684, by his Indian overlord and his Tibetan conqueror, to submit to a system that regulated the exploitation of “shawl ” wool m favour of Kashmir: First, the province of Ngari, the western part of the Tibetan plateau, a big producer of出is wool, became, de也让tively, a province under the authority of central Tibet, and its revenue would go to Lhasa; all the “shawiη wool would be sold to a single intermediarγ the government of Ladakh. Ladakh could keep for itself onlγthe production from the Ruthok district, which i臼 royal agents would come to get, all the rest would be resold exclusively, by perpetual monopoly, to Kashmir, through the intermediation of 岛ur authorized merchants It is, in fact, for a long time, Kashmir which derived profit from this wonderful wool, it supplied the indus trγthat made the famous shawls, put weavers, dyers and embroi derers to work, constituted a m句or component of the Kashmiri economy and filled Europe, Russia and northern India with these marvelous products. Here again, Tibet was selling its products raw, and others were growing rich; the same is true for the Ladakhis. Lack of labour force or k丑ow-how? Lack of interest? Or constrain♂ The treaty of 1684 between Lada凶and Lhasa concerned not only wool, but also a product which had become essential-tea. It came from China-then the sole producer from Sichua孔，on 出e other horizon of Tibet, by way of a route that passed through Lhasa.
TRADE IN LHASA IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
Any obstacle to the arrival of the caravans hit the Ladakhis at the heart of their way of life. The 1684 treaty stated that tea would continue to be supplied to Ladakh by Tibetan caravans, at由e rate of 200 loads per year. If this meant yak-loads, from 90 to 100 kilo grams, this represented 18 to 20 metric tons of tea Another clause established出e regular dispatching everγtwo years of a cara m departing Leh and carrying to Lhasa the “tribute” from the kingdom of Ladakh; and on return to Leh，也e caravan brought tea. This tribute caravan, called the Lψchak caravan, existed for almost thr 巳e centuries. It is understood that the crossing of Tibet from the west was not the route preferred by merchants. The trip from Leh to Lhasa, via Gartok, past Mount Kailash and over出e May山口Pass, meant, first of a丑，three months in wild, almost uninhabited, very cold regions, up to Lhatse; then three or four more weeks to Lhasa Desiden reel仨 ons 168 days of travel击。r a trip which in fact, because of a neces sary halt, lasted from 17 August 1715 to 18 March 1716. For the 且rst three months of the journey, it was necessary to carrγall of one's own food tea, butter, barley flour, dried meat for the men, grain, flour or peas for the horses- -because there was no吐出g to eat. In addition, there was, like everywhere in Tibet and especially in all 1egions that were little i世1abited, great risk of bandits This is why it was not customary to travel alone: one organized a strong, well armed caravan, or joined a large caravan, merchant or official, and placed oneself under its protection. From Lhasa, crossroads of routes to出e Himalayas, south and west, there radiated two more m句or “routes” ， whatever concrete sense one gives to this word, two classic routes to Mongolia and especially China: the Xining route and the Sichuan route
吐1e Xining-Lhasa route seems to have played, then, a role as impor tant as that of Lhasa-Kathmandu. Today the trip is made m且ve days by car. Until 1955, it was a journey of three to four 阻d a half months, on horseback for the men, on the backs of camels and yaks for the goods (camels ortly between Xining and Nakchu). It was, by the old route, a little more than 2,100 kilometres and it was necessary to cross a desolate windy plateau and the Tangla pa 臼 at 5,200 metres. But there agam, what was feared most, were the bandits, up to Nakchu. For the rest， 也e journey was less hard than in Ngari. W且at did one buy, what did one sell in Xining? The Tibetan produc 臼 already mentioned: gold, musk, furs, woolen cloth, wool, stag horns, medicinal plants, leathers and skins; products coming from overseas via Nepal and Lhasa, like coral and amber, conches, gems. Chinese produc臼 tea, silks, porcel血ns, which China 白吃ported everγwhere in the world; agric吐tural implemen阻，domestic tools and utens口s，如od products, cloth, paper; and a lot of silver in mgots, which Tibet bought to supply i臼 mi 时， silver that was going, in part, to take the road to Kathmandu to return to Tibet田the form of half二rupee coins, and出at, for出e oth巳r part, was going to be worked for lay and religious jewellery and ornamentation. Xining was also an important market for livestock (cattle, horses, sheep, yaks, camels and so on), the horses be皿g bred by the Mongols- among others, by those of the “Banners ” of Kokonor. The military requirement for horses was always the determinant factor in Chinese relations with由nomad neighbours, breeders of horses. Already, for centuries, a system of trading horses for tea, closely controlled by the Chinese state, ensured, through its inspection offices in Xining and other locations, these indispensable acquisitions. Although this trade took place on the borders, it nevertheless concerned Lhasa because it was there that a good part of the tea ended up. After a troubled period around the end of the Ming dynasty, in the 1630s and 1640s, trade resumed under出e Qjng dynasty. The exchange ratio, under the latter dynasty, ranged 企om 36 to 72 kilograms of tea for one horse, depending on出e quality of the latter. The tea came mainly from Sichuan. From the second half of the 17th cen 阳町，it w讪undoubtedly also follow the “Sichuan route" to reach Lhasa, via Tatsienlu (Dartsedo/Kangding) and Kham.
τh e X扭扭旦 丑剧te Xining, the Chinese city at the gates of the empire, was the empo rium for trade between Tibet, China皿d the Mongol kingdoms; the ties between the latter and the Dalai Lama were, we know, close in the 17th centurγ－political and religious ties It was also through Xining that one passed to go from Lhasa to Beijing and Jehol (Chengde), the two residences of the Qjng emperors, after 1644 A route of merchants, ambassadors, taken by princes and Dalai Lamas, 田
TRADE IN L狂ASA IN THE SEVENTEENτZ王CENTURY
The Si huan Route
F田·eign Merchants in lltasa
In fact, it w臼 probably only after the middle of the 17th century, after a pa口of Kham passed into the control of the L』asa govern ment, that由1s Sichuan “ route ” acq四red the commercial importance for which it was known in the 19th and 20th centuries, when it w出 the tea route, and Tatsienlu, now Kangding, was for the Chinese the door to Tibet and the big tea port击。r the Tibetans. Similarly, its military importa口ce also dates only 击om the beginning of the i日出 centurγ This route pr臼ents the disadvantage of verγdifficult terrain （出e modern route, built in 1955-56, crosses fourteen mountain ranges). The Lhasa-Tatsienlu section went through Medrogongk町， Tramdo, Atsa, Lhari, Shopado, Lhorong dzong, Cham巾，Batang and Litang, and represented 2,753 kilometres; it was then 498 kilometres from Tatsienlu to Chengdu Lhasa Tatsienlu was made in a minimum of eighty-four day-stages. Thus, the tea took about three months to arrive in Lhasa 仕om China; part of it continued the journey to Leh, about four more months. Between the Chinese border and that of Ladalm，皿the course of more出an seven months of travel, the tea doubled in price many times. At these speeds, it can be seen how, for a merchant who invested in a caravan of goods for distant buyers, a round t口p, and conse quently the return of pro缸，could mean a lapse of time of two or three years. Apart from the time on the road, it was also necessarγ for the agent or merchant to take time to sell his merchandise and buy other goods; it was necessary, as well, to allow击。r forced halts for necessarγrest, for climatic reasons, w缸ting击。r new pack animals whose deliverγcould take a long time, waiting for local government pe口n its and w缸ting for the goodwill of customs o伍cers. Most certainly, journeys by sea were not quick either: Father Alexander of Rhodes, embarking at Lisbon on 4 April 1619, rounds the Cape of Good Hope on 20 July and arrives in Goa on 9 October; in the other direction, Ippolito Deside口，embarking at Pondicherrγ on 21 Januarγ1727, will drop anchor at Port-Louis in Bnttany only on 11 Aug,山st. Such were the conditions of trade: those who went, went击。r a long time-a job for men who were young, hardy, little attached to their comfort, cu口ous to see the world and without fear. There was no lack of them.
The second half of the 17th centurγis certainly吐ie period in which Lhasa found 明白血its walls the greatest variety of foreign merchants. 叭lhile出e Tibetans themselves ventured verγlittle outside the bound aries of their country (one sees them in the countries bordering on Tibet but scarcely further than Patna or Leh or Xim吨，never in Surat, !sf.注han or Bukhara, let alone on the shores of the Mediter 阻nean), they had no objection to merchants from other countnes setting themselves up in Tibet. The longest established were出e Newar of the Kathmandu Valley. Buddhists like the Tibetans, often married to Tibetans, they formed several colonies of merchants, silversmiths and goldsmiths in Lhasa and 皿 a few other Tibetan centres, from at least the 13th century. At the end of tl1e 16白，they already bene自ted from a right of extrater ritoria且ty, which was subsequently renewed several times. Besides 出eir activittes as silversmiths and goldsmitl毡， casters of statues, sculptors of wood, whose works are still found in many Tibetan temples and monasteries, they set up commercial且rms, whose descendants left Tibet only after 1950. We saw above that a treaty between the government of Kathmandu and that of the Dalai Lama, about 1645, reorganized tl1e system in 自口丑ly ensuring for the Newar merchants a privileged situation in Lhasa, and in Nepal itself, the near monopoly of the transit trade between Tibet and India, as well as出e verγprofitable monopoly of minting出e silver coins used in Tibet It w臼 also m出e 17th century, under the government of the Fifth Dalai Lama, that Muslims settled in Tibet and received as a gift from由e Tibetan government, in the vici础ty of Lhasa, a park, called the “garden of the Khache” （ “Kashmiris’ garden"), with the right to b旧ld a mosque and establish a cemete町there. Most of these Muslims were Kashmiri merchants, spread among Lhasa, Tsaparang, Shigatse and Gyantse, they traded in all products; their role in trade between Tibet, Nepal, Kashmir, Ladalm and the rest of India, became more important, they had in their hands the “shawl” wool trade. In Lhasa they set up, at the end of the 17th or at tl1e beginning of 甘1e following cen国町，“叮叮－six commercial firms. It was Muslim car avaneers who were given the responsibility of running也e Lo户chak caravan to Lhasa.
Originally, many of these Kashmiri Muslims had 自rst been estab lished in Ladakh at the end of the 16th centu町，from there their commerc1al interests (especially involved m “shawl" wool) were ex tended to Tibet. The closing of the kingdom of Ladakh between 1643 and 1664 pushed other Muslims to Nepal, and from Nepal to Tibet; still others, also of Kashmiri origin, had first emigrated to the plains of India and from there embarked upon business right up to Tibet. For convenience and security, these merchant communities, Newar as well as Kashm1泣，were organized with a head merchant, or sev eral head merchants, representing them, protecting their righ民sorting out their disputes; in addition, the Newar had an offi口al represen tative of their king; the Kashmiris seem to have gained fewer priv ileges than the Newar. Another categorγof h在uslims who will m汰e a place for them selves in Lhasa and Shigatse, perhaps not before the end of the 17th centu町，四that of the Chinese Muslims originally from Gansu. These mer巳hants dealt in Chinese silks and pearls, perhaps freshwater pearls from Siberian lakes and rivers. The Tibetan authorities seem to have willingly tolerated these击or eigners, non-Buddhist but not proselytizing, and devoted to business. Contrari，咀白，phases of favour and disfa飞，our alternated with regard to Ch口stian missionaries, who appear from 1624, do not engage in business, but do try to convert Also reported in Lhasa, right at the beginning of the 18th cen tu町，are merchants from Bhutan，“Tartar ” merchants, that is to say Mongols, and, subject to the observation made above，“Muscovite” merchants；五nally, a categorγof merchants on which we are best informed: the Armenians. The Armenians-they are eveηwhere in the I 7th century m Persia, India, Tibet, one finds them at all the m句or crossroads of trade and commerce. Many originally come from New Julfa (Iulfa, Zulfa), a suburb of Isfahan where, in 1605, the king of Persia, Shah Abbas, had forced the transfer of 1,200 Armenian families fromJulfa on the Araxe in Armenia. These families established a merchant colony出at sent its agen臼eve巧where, from Europe to Tibet by way of Persia and India, and later, spread here and there through fam ilies and communities. Originally, they were of course Christians. In Persia and in Mogul India, though theoretically having the right to remain so, they were
SU问j ect to so much pre目ure, harassm白1 t and taxation, that some, to avoid this, became Muslims. They were solidly established in 出e port of Surat; they had been, for a long time, in Agra, Patna, Madras, Hooghlγ－in Calcutta before Calcutta, as it were. They took sides, later, with the British, and played a big role in the setting up of the East India Company in Calcutta in fact and in the granting』y the Mo事1ls to the British of firmans and trade pn叫leges. The Armenian network stretched from Delhi to Kabul, from Kandahar to Balkh, to Bukhara, to Tab口z, to Trebizonde, in fact, they sent agents, as we have seen, just as easily to Danzig as to Lhasa and Xining. They were forwarding agen臼m all merchandise; through them passed Kashmiri shawls, gold, musk, spices, a thousand and one句'Pes of Indian fabrics, cot tons and silks, rhubarb, coral, amber, pearls，γak tails and saffron, padlocks, kmves and bullets, paper, gl出 S bottles, tea and cardamom. They were skillful, organized, experienced, they always spoke sev era! languages, they made a vocation of commerce, peaceably, they succeeded. Nevertheless, the period of their act1世ty in Tibet was brief; the traces we have of them go from the 1680s to the year of the Jungar invasion, 1 717. After the capture of Lhasa and the years of trouble and violence that followed, one no longer saw them again in Tibet, ” 丑or, moreover, the mysterious "MuscoV1tes either. The Newar, the Kashmiris and the Chinese Muslims stayed.
Rich Country, Poor Country?
These imports of prec10us materials (s出臼，gems, amber, coral, pearls) are diffic吐t to associate in our minds with a relatively small popu lation, made up essentially of peasants and livestock breeders liV1ng a life that is materially crude, even rudimentary, as simple as that of its many monks.叭Ibo, then, made up the Tibetan clientele capa ble of buying this luxury merchandise? The religious and lay aris tocracy that was concentrated, at that time, in Lhasa and Shigatse? Those responsible for 'the consfr口ction and ornamentation of tem ples and palaces, starting wi出the Potala? Did the feudal landlords become wealthy, did a class of well-to-do merchants come into e泪s tence? What proportion of the imported precious mate口als stayed
in Tibet, and what proportion, arriving in Lhasa, contmued the JOur ney to Xining or to Kathmandu to reach other foreign buyers? One at least partial answer to these questions is, of course, the concentration of these precious materials in the temples and monas teri凹， to which rumour soon attributed fabulous treasures, treasures constantly growi吨，never put back into circulation in the economy but consecrated, fixed, to the veneration of the deities (those of the Potala and Tashilunpo, the most famous, will be plundered in the 18th centurγby enemy armies, but the rumour will long ou也ve them) Was there not, however, some exaggeration, on the part of observe凹， as to the real importance of出is categorγof imports in Tibet ’s balance of trade? On the other hand 》 if we compare the b叫k of exports which include precious materials, gold and musk in particular, plus an unknown quantity of wool produc臼and all the other products men tioned above-with the bulk of imports here it 1s necessary to count big essential-purchases like tea, currency》 the silver mgo臼for making it, and all the other merchandise enumerated above (though having very little data at our clisposal)-one is tempted to think that what left Tibet was sold cheap compared to the world market price (then resold at a much higher price in other countries卜－in any case, i th坦白certain for gold-while in the opposite direction, Tibet bought at high prices, In the process, there was pro自t to be made, which consequently attracted foreign merchants, Moreover, we have seen 出at Tibet exported, almost exclusively, unfinished products (unrefined gold, unprocessed musk, unwashed “shawl” wool, medicinal herbs m bulk) and imported many manufactured products that included the cost of the work, the most striking example. being its ow丑cuπency －「N
LHASA, CITY OF PILGRIMAGE Katia Buffetrille Of the p让grimages that took place in Lhasa in the 17th century, "' know little, Johannes Grueber, a Jesuit of Austrian origin, and h companion, Albert d’Orville, a Belgian missionarγ， who wanted g back to Europe by sea and were unable to do so because of tb Dutch blockade of Macao, decided to return home overland, 0 the way, they stopped in Lhasa where they stayed for h旷o month They were the且rst Europeans to visit Lhasa; that was in 1661. Th, left no account of their journey acro臼 Tibet, but Grueber, back 】 Europe, gave his notes and his sketches to Athanasius Kircher, authc of the famous China lllustrata, published in Latin in 1667, This w: 出e五rst visual account出e West got of this city which the missio, aries called by the peculiar name of Barantola, The I 7th centurγwas a transition period in Tibet, since, for tl first time, a Dalai Lama, in this case the Fifth, became the spiritu and temporal head of the country, In 1638, Gushri Khan, head of the Khoshut Mongols, came c pil伊mage to Lhasa. It is then that he met the Gelukpa hierarcl Very impressed by the latter, he 。能red his a臼 istance to the Geluki: in their fight ag皿nst the pnnces of Tsang province, which supporte the Karma Kagγupa religious school. The Mongol chief, after ha, ing won the victory in 1642, gave temporal power over Tibet to th Fifth Dalai Lama‘ The hierarch 》 且ke his prior incarnations, initially lived m出e pal缸 of Ganden Phodrang inside Drepung》 one of the thr巳e large Gelulq monasteries, located a few kilometres west of Lhasa. But it seem, to him that this was no longer an appropriate place from which govern the whole of Tibet He had to decide on a site where tl government could be set up. The choice of Lhasa stood out for 归 reasons: first, it was an ancient holy site of the Tibetan Empi (7th 9th centuries) and, second, the three large Gelukpa monaste口