Reviews

This book advertises itself as an edition of a single legal text, the Law Code of the Kökenuur League, discovered in 1997 in Ulaan County in Qinghai Province. In fact, its extensive appendices make it a very useful compendium of texts for the study of Mongolian law in the post-imperial period. The Kökenuur principality emerged in the seventeenth century, when the Khoshud under Güüshi Khan, with other Oirad allies, mobilised to support the Fifth Dalai Lama against an alliance of Tibetan rivals and the refugee Ligdan Khan. Successful in this intervention, Güüshi Khan was invested as ruler of Tibet in 1642. The law code published here was promulgated in 1685 by the Dalai Khung-Taiji, a regent who held power on behalf of the sons of Güüshi Khan. This study contains an introduction, a facsimile of the text with facing transliteration, Mongolian transcription, and word index. This is complemented by a collection of legal texts, and excerpts from Oirad chronicles. Among the former are the sixteenth-century Code of Altan Khan, the Tibetan foreword written by the Fifth Dalai Lama to Güüši Khan’s Mongγol čaγaǰa (approx. 1647), the Mongol-Oirad Code issued at the assembly of Khalkha and Oirad rulers in 1640, and Galdan Boshogtu’s supplementary decrees of 1678. The work is announced as the first in a series of studies dedicated to the history and culture of the Qinghai (or Upper, degede) Mongols.

David J. Brophy, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
CER: II-3.5.B-315