[Buddha-l] Inquisition and untouchability

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 19 12:38:18 MDT 2013


>> Tibet, by the way, had similar outcaste treatment for butchers, etc. Most
>> butchers in Tibet were muslims.
> "Most"? - But large areas of Tibet had no Muslim population. This may
> have been true in Lhasa and a few large settlements - and possibly in
> some parts of Amdo where there were many Muslims - but not likely
> anywhere else.
> Nomads and semi-nomads, who formed a substantial proportion of the
> population, certainly slaughtered animals. Apparently the usual method
> employed was suffocation - as it was believed better not to shed
> blood.

My sources for that tidbit were the old works of H. Harrer, Thubten Jigme 
Norbu, etc. I would expect nomads to do their own slaughtering and not 
require a butcher at all. So you are probably right that Muslim butchers 
were a more urban occurrence, and Harrer, Norbu et al. may have been right 
that as a profession -- as opposed to slaughtering for one's own family or 
small circle -- most butchers were Muslim.

Thanks for the additional information, re: pork, blacksmiths, barren women, 
and distant cousin romances.


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