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Briefly describe the political, economical and social structure of Nepal during the 7-19th century
I am writing an anthropological paper on Hindu and Buddhist art and how it reflects the political, economical and social structure of the Himalayas during the 7th -19th century. I need help to identify the history and culture of this time. What was Nepal's political structure? How did the people of Nepal, traditional Kathmandu Valley, earn subsistence? Where they agriculturists with herding or slash and burn method of farming? How was their economy structured? How did the women contribute to subsistence? What were their roles? How did men contribute to subsistence?What were their roles? Is Nepal a state society? How were they socially structured? Did they have the class system at this time? What cultural changes accord with the invasion of Malla in the 12th century?
This assignment does not require bibliography. I just need to understand the culutre of Nepal, in order to understand their art.
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The solution describes the political, economical and social structure of Nepal during the 7-19th century.
1) Transition to the Medieval Kingdom, 750-1000: This period followed the decline of the Licchavi Dynasty. There was little growth in the geographical or administrative power of the Nepalese state. The Kathmandu Valley and surrounding valleys officially remained part of a single political unit. The main influences on Nepal continued to come from Mithila or Tirhut to the south (in India).
Profound changes took place in the religious system of Nepal. The early patronage of Buddhism by the kings gave way to a more strictly Hindu devotion, based on the worship of a variety of deities the most important being Pashupatinath (Shiva). Within the Buddhist community, the role of the monks and monasteries changed slowly but radically. A more ritualistic vajrayana Buddhism expanded and a division grew up between the "teachers of the thunderbolt" (vajracharya) and ordinary monks (bhikshu), leading to caste-like divisions. The higher-ranking teachers monopolized the worship in the monasteries and controlled the revenues brought in from monastic estates. Monasteries became social and economic centers, serving as workshops and apartments as well as shrines. These roles were kept intact well into the twentieth century.
2) The Malla Kings: Beginning in the early twelfth century, leading notables in Nepal began to appear with names ending in the term malla, (wrestler in Sanskrit), indicating a person of great strength and power. Arimalla (reigned 1200-16) was the first king to be so called, and the practice of adopting such a name was followed regularly by rulers in Nepal until the eighteenth century. This long Malla period witnessed the continued importance of the Kathmandu Valley as a political, cultural, and economic center of Nepal. Other areas also began to emerge as significant centers in their own right, increasingly connected to the Kathmandu Valley.
The time of the earlier Malla kings was not one of consolidation but was instead a period of upheaval in and around Nepal. In the twelfth century, Muslim Turks had set up a powerful kingdom in India at Delhi, and in the thirteenth century they expanded their control over most of northern India. During this process, all of the regional kingdoms in India underwent a major reshuffling and considerable fighting before they eventually fell under Delhi's control. This process resulted in an increasing militarization of Nepal's neighbors and sections of Nepal as well.
The early Malla period, a time of continuing trade and the reintroduction of Nepalese coinage, saw the steady growth of the small towns that became Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhadgaon.
3) The Three Kingdoms: After 1482, the kingdom became divided. The center of Nepal was split into three competing kingdoms, roughly based on Bhadgaon, Kathmandu, and Patan. The relationships among the kingdoms within the valley was quite convoluted. Although all three ruling houses were related and ...
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