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Changing Currents: An Ethnography Of The Traditional Irrigation Practices Of Leh Town

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the set of traditions that have governed irrigation practices, it looks at how traditional systems of common property are impacted by changes in the region. An ethnography of the irrigation system of Leh town demonstrates the changes and continuities. The majority of the Ladakhi population have been farmers. The social and economic importance of agriculture is attested to by the proverb, ?to take a bride by pretending that tetres is his main field?. The relative isolation of Ladakh was altered at the time of Independence in 1947, which brought it within the purview of the Indian nation state, as part of Jammu and Kashmir. The irrigation system of Leh town begins at Gangles, the malla (habitation) that lies at the head-end, and finishes at Shenam, at the tail-end of the system. The water distribution system in Leh, too, begins with the selection and appointment of churpons.

Keywords: agriculture; churpons; Gangles; irrigation system; Ladakh; Leh; Shenam



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