Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Children's Healthcare and Astrology in the Nurturing of a Central Tibetan Nation-State, 1916–24

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Asian Medicine

Between 1916 and 1924, a Tibetan public healthcare programme that focused on childcare and natal astrology comprised a central aspect of the mission of the Lhasa Mentsikhang (Institute of Medicine and Astrology). Assessing previously unused Tibetan language materials—including the Thirteenth Dalai Lama's edict for implementation and an accompanying childcare manual—the programme is contextualized with regard to regional developments in British India and China. Like British 'mothercraft' education programmes of the same period, the Tibetan initiative links the health of the population (from infancy) to the health of the state and its economy. Rather than appealing to the authority of 'scientific' colonial medicine, however, this paper discusses how indigenous medical techniques and theories are put forward as effective means to prove the nascent Central Tibetan state's benevolence, legitimacy and sovereignty via intervention in the domestic sphere. Such attention to medical reform and to the domestic sphere brings light to an underappreciated effort by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama to cultivate a sense of Tibetan subjecthood and to reconfigure the relationship between his government and various segments of society. Significantly, this childcare initiative was entrusted not just to mothers, and the category of class is here more germane than the category of gender central within British programmes. Various social groups within a specifically delineated Tibetan territory are assigned tasks in the programme's implementation, illustrating the desire to incorporate each into a reorganised Tibetan state bound by a newly articulated Buddhist ideal of shared social responsibility.

Affiliations: 1: Columbia University


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Asian Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation