The Treasury of Lives

Since the rise of the Ganden Podrang in the seventeenth century three categories of aristocracy have been influential in Tibetan government and society:

1.      Yabzhi (yab gzhis): families into which Dalai Lamas have been born consisting of the houses of Langdun, Punkhang, Yutok, Samdrub Podrang and Lhalu.

2.      Depon (sde dpon): the highest peerage, made up of five families consisting of Gazhi, Ton, Dokhar, Palha and Lhagyari.

3.      Midrak/gerpa (mi drag/sger pa): the remaining aristocracy from whose ranks the lay officials of the Ganden Podrang government were drawn.

Lhasa Aristocracy


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