Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jangshung Language of Kinnauri & Zhang-Zhung


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"The Zhangzhung language & Kinnauri.......A handful of Zhangzhung texts and 11th century bilingual Tibetan documents attest to a Zhangzhung language which was related to Kinnauri..... A modern Kinnauri language called by the same name (pronounced locally Jangshung) is spoken by 2,000 people in the Sutlej Valley of Himachal Pradesh who claim to be descendants of the Zhangzhung."....http://www.ethnologue.com/language/JNA

Sample of Zhang Zhung Script
Yig gzugs du ma'i ma phyi gzhon nu mdzes pa'i lang tsho
The sPungs-chen Script

"To fully appreciate Sri Simha's background we must briefly digress into the geography of a mysterious seventh century Himalayan country called Suvarnadwipa and its southern neighbour, the Kinnaur Valley."......The Dharma Fellowship of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1923-1981)

Jangshung......A language of the Kinnaur district of India......Alternate Names: Central Kinnauri, Jangiam, Jangrami, Thebarskad, Thebor, Thebör Skadd, Zangram, Zhang-Zhung.....Speaking Population: 1,990 (1998 survey)......Location: Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur district, Morang Tahsil, Jangi, Lippa, and Asrang villages.....Language Status: Vigorous....Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Western Tibeto-Burman, Bodish, West Himalayish, Kinauri.....http://www.verbix.com/maps/language/Jangshung.html

"As Prof. R. A. Stein says, the Western Land of Women was "a mysterious region mentioned by Chinese and Indian authors." Apparently this matriarchy, with its capital at the Silver Castle of Khyunglung (east of present day To-lung) in Western Tibet, was the same as the land of Zang-zung. The latter is the Tibetan name of the land. Zang-zung or Suvarnadwipa was an ancient Indo-European nation, said to have been ruled by a royal lineage of women. This matriarchy or queendom once existed along the valleys of the upper Sutlej and the Indus rivers, from Tirthapuri, west of Mount Kailash, as far as the borders of modern Ladakh. In Ladakh itself, matriarchal lineage has been known during various periods of Ladakhi history. It is likely that Suvarnadwipa once consisted of the whole of Western Tibet and Ladakh, prior to conquest by the Tibetan people invading from the east........Apart from gold and matriarchy, the Golden Land of Suvarnadwipa (or Zangzung) was famous for manufacturing and exporting to India a peculiarly fine wool cloth known as cina-patti, or in other words, "fabric (patti) from Cina." Thus we find in Kautilya, for example, the mention of Cina as a valley within the territory of Suvarnadwipa, from whence cina-patti was brought to India. At present this same extra-fine cloth, no longer manufactured in Suvarnadwipa, but instead in Kashmir, is known as cashmere.......Prof. Stein is vague in delineating the actual borders of the ancient land of Suvarnadwipa: "How far Zang-zung stretched to the north, east and west is a mystery," he says. : "It seems to have dovetailed into two countries mentioned by T'ang historians as Lesser and Greater Yang-t'ung." This only confuses the matter further, since Pelliot and Tucci consider Yang-t'ung to be Zang-zung itself."...Tibetan Civilization......Rolf Alfred Stein.....Stanford University Press, 1972

Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 112

"Today, the territory in Tibet that once was ancient Suvarnadwipa, is more or less a dry barren wasteland. In Sri Simha's era, however, it was apparently rich, not just in gold, beautiful Amazonian women and fine cloth, but in verdant gardens, herds of sheep and goat, and apple orchards......The researches of Marcelle Lalou have sufficiently shown that the territory of the Indian Kailasa, south of Western Tibet (below Suvarnadwipa), comprising modern Kinnaur, was known in ancient times as the valley of Cina. Ancient Cina (or modern Kinnaur), south of the 15,400 ft Shipki Pass (known to the Tibetans as Sarang-la), was apparently a vassal state of Suvarnadwipa. In present times this extensive but isolated valley, hemmed in by the Himalayas, now belongs to India. It is pierced by a major India-Tibet roadway, originally commissioned by Lord Dalhousie in 1850. The valley is home to both Buddhist and Hindu temples.......Confusion arose when, in the 9th century, Tibetans attempted to translate, from the early historical records of the Dzogchen Tradition, the name "Cina" into their own language. By that time the Indo-European matriarchy of Suvarnadwipa (or Zang-zung) had been overrun by Tibet for more than a century. Every vestige of the land, its people and its language, had long since undergone severe changes. The name ‘Cina,' referring to the southern district of Suvarnadwipa, no longer held any meaning for the Tibetan historians. "Cina" and "Mahacina" were, by the ninth century, almost mythical places. While "Mahacina", which probably originally meant Central Asia, came to mean "China" (rGya-nag, the "vast region where people dress in black" according to the Tibetans), the location of Cina simply got lost. With time, Tibetans came to believe that "Cina" was related in some way with "Greater China" (mahacina), and therefore that Sri Simha was a Chinese sage."....Marcelle Lalou: Les manuscrits tibétains de Touen-houang conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale de Paris, recueil des communications faites au Congrès international des Orientalistes, Bruxelles, 1938, p. 37, et AXXCIO, 1940,

"The Kinnauri tribal group is in fact an Indo-European people who, nevertheless, tend to consider themselves distinct not only from Tibetans but also from their Indian cousins to the south. Homskad, the language spoken in Kinnaur, is dispersed into about 12 different dialects. Kinnauris are traditionally farmers, who adhere to a mixture of Hindu and Buddhist customs, with most villages having both Saivite Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist temples. The present culture is probably not much different than when Sri Simha lived there in the 8th century.......Scholars have also been ambiguous about the location of the town where Sri Simha was born. All that the Tibetan sources tell us is that it was named So-khyam, the meaning of which has remained until now uncertain.......So, what are the facts? Well first off, Cina — the land from whence Sri Simha came — definitely is the Kinnaur Valley, also known as the Kunnu Valley; a Himalayan district, today within India. Suvarnadwipa lay to the north of this valley, in what now is Western Tibet. "So-khyam" is the Tibetan rendering of the name "Su-gnam", the latter a prosperous village at the nine thousand foot level, deep in the Kinnaur Valley......And the gold? Yes, a large deposit is still there to be mined. The largest lode may be found at Shok Jalung, on the Tibetan side of the mountains.....: latitude 32° 24,' longitude 81° 34'.....the location is at 16,000 ft above sea level, and virtually impenetrable."....http://www.dharmafellowship.org

Jangshung.......A language of India.......Alternate Names: Central Kinnauri, Jangiam, Jangrami, Thebarskad, Thebor, Thebör Skadd, Zangram, Zhang-Zhung....Population: 1,990.....Location Spoken: Himachal Pradesh, Kinnaur district, Morang Tahsil, Jangi, Lippa, and Asrang villages."...http://www.ethnologue.com/language/JNA

The Zhang-Zhung Language: A Grammar and Dictionary of the Unexplored Language of the Tibetan Bonpos......Author: Haarh, Erik......Jangshung Table of Contents......1968

Jangrami, Zangram, Zhang-Zhung, Jangiam, Thebor, Thebör Skadd, Thebarskad, Central Kinnauri, Zhang-zhung, Kanāwri...... Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Kanauri

"Suvarnadvipa (Skt. Suvarṇadvīpa; Tib. གསེར་གླིང་, Wyl. gser gling) is believed by most scholars to be identified with Sumatra. It might also be Java or Malaysia. It was home to Atisha's most important teacher, known as Dharmakirti of Suvarnadvipa."

"Zhang-Zhung (Tibetan: ཞང་ཞུང, Wylie: zhang zhung) is an extinct Tibeto-Burman language that was spoken in what is now western Tibet. The term 'Zhang-zhung language' has been used to refer to two different entities. One of these occurs occasionally in the scriptures of the Bön religion. The other, 'Old Zhang-zhung', appears in a small number of documents preserved in Dunhuang. The language of these texts was identified as 'Zhang-zhung' by F. W. Thomas and this identification has been accepted by Takeuchi Tsuguhito (武内紹人). However, Dan Martin questions the wisdom of identifying these as variants of the same language.".....Dan Martin (2004), "Zhang-zhung Dictionary"

Descriptive Grammar of Kinnauri, Volume 1........By Devīdatta Śarmā

"Kinnauri, also known as Kanauri, Kanor, Koonawur, or Kunawar is a Tibeto-Burman dialect cluster centered on the Kinnaur district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.......Nagano, Yasuhiko; & LaPolla, Randy J. (Eds.). (2001). New research on Zhangzhung and related Himalayan languages. Bon studies 3, Senri ethnological reports 19. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.

Takahashi, Yoshiharu. (2001). A descriptive study of Kinnauri (Pangi dialect): A preliminary report. In Y. Nagano & R. J. LaPolla (Eds.), New research on Zhangzhung and related Himalayan languages. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.

'A Cavern of Treasures' (Tibetan: མཛོད་ཕུག, Wylie: mdzod phug) is a terma uncovered by 'Shenchen Luga' (Tibetan: གཤེན་ཆེན་ཀླུ་དགའ, Wylie: gshen chen klu dga') in the early eleventh century..... Martin (n.d.: p. 21) identifies the importance of this scripture for studies of the Zhang-zhung language: "For students of Tibetan culture in general, the mDzod phug is one of the most intriguing of all Bön scriptures, since it is the only lengthy bilingual work in Zhang-zhung and Tibetan (some of the shorter but still significant sources for Zhang-zhung are signalled in Orofino 1990)."..... Martin, Dan....Comparing Treasuries: Mental states and other mdzod phug lists and passages with parallels in Abhidharma works of Vasubandhu and Asanga, or in Prajnaparamita Sutras.

"Scripts......The Zhang Zhung language is claimed to have multiple different scripts. However, these scripts appear to have little existence outside of calligraphy manuals. One extant document, a seal originally held at Tsurpu monastery, is claimed to be written in such a script. In the words of McKay (2003: p. 447):....."There is also a Zhang-zhung alphabet, but despite its rather unusual appearance to anyone who is unfamiliar with the Indo-Tibetan ornate style of lettering known as lan-tsha, one observes that it is modeled letter by letter upon Thon-mi Sambhota's alphabet of thirty letters.".....McKay, Alex (2003). The history of Tibet, Volume 1.

Atisa and Tibet: Life and Works of Dipamkara Srijnana....By Alaka Chattopadhyaya

Historical Dictionary of Tibet By John Powers, David Templeman


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