ABSTRACT

Traditionally associated with the status of trongba were a number of rights and obligations, some of which are shared by other households. The head of a trongba household, who in a fraternal polyandrous household normally is the eldest brother, plays a clearly defined political role in the community. Theoretically the trongba estates and the rights and duties accruing to them are impartible. According to the cultural ideal, trongba estates remain intact generation after generation; brothers marry polyandrously, producing a single set of heirs in each generation. Only a minority, ideally the first-born sons of first-born sons, are fully entitled, and property given out from the trongba estate is given at the discretion of the individuals. Goldstein maintains that in Central Tibet too there was a "basic Inheritance rule which held that all males in a family were coparceners with demand rights to a share of the family corporation's land.