Author: FANG CHAO-YING
Tshangs-dbyangs-rgya-mtsho 策養［倉洋］嘉錯 , Feb.11, 1683-1706, the Sixth Dalai Lama and poet, was born at Mon in southern Tibet. His full name was bLo-bzang-rig-hdsins （羅布藏仁青)-tshangs-dbyangs-rgya-mtsho.
The year before he was born the Fifth Dalai Lama had died. According to Tibetan law, the death of a Dalai Lama should be publicly announced, and high commissioners should then convene to select some new-born infant as the reincarnation of the deceased Lama. This infant is then educated in the monastery, Potala, and the Panchan Lama rules at the head of a body of regents, until the child comes of age. But this procedure was ignored in this instance as the Tipa (temporal administrator under the Dalai Lama), whose name was sDe-srid Sangsrgyas-rgya-mtsho, known in Continue reading
Yoruba and Oyo
The African peoples who lived in Yorubaland, at least by the seventh century BCE, were not initially known as the Yoruba, although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. The historical Yoruba develop out of earlier (Mesolithic) Volta-Niger populations, by the 1st millennium BCE.
Oral history recorded under the Oyo Empire derives the Yoruba as an ethnic group from the population of the older kingdom of Ile-Ife. Ife was surpassed by the Oyo Empire as the dominant Yoruba military and political power between 1600 CE and 1800 CE. The nearby kingdom of Benin was also a powerful force between 1300 and 1850 CE.
Most of the city states were controlled by Obas, elected priestly monarchs, and councils made up of Oloyes, recognised leaders of royal, noble and, often, even common descent, who joined them in ruling over the kingdoms through a series of guilds and cults. Oyo had powerful, autocratic monarchs with almost total control, while in the Ijebu city-states, the senatorial councils were supreme and the Ọba served as something of a figurehead. In all cases, Yoruba monarchs were subject to the continuing approval of their constituents as a matter of policy. Continue reading
One of the earliest and most enduring scribal traditions in Mesoamerica developed in the central valleys of Oaxaca. Seemingly a logo-syllabic system since its inception, ca 600 BCE, several lines of evidence strongly suggest that the script encoded an ancient version of the contemporary Zapotecan family of languages.
The early societal uses of writing that can be elicited from what survives in the archaeological record were to promote group identities in the genesis of widening social inequalities, differential access to power, political centralization, and urbanism.
Through time, the script spread over a wide portion of southwestern Mesoamerica, at times imposed by groups with hegemonic interests, or appropriated by aspiring elites to form part of increasingly wider networks of interaction. These processes led the script in a trajectory that minimized phoneticism (confined as time went on to renditions of personal names and toponyms) but maximized logophonic, semantic, and hence multilingual encoding. Continue reading