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Social Hierarchy

The traditional Bhutanese society was mildly divided into social classes although Bhutan did not have any rigid structures of caste or social classification. At the top of the social order were religious and secular nobilities who claimed descent from an important figure in the past and also were major land owners. These people often had many serfs and servants working for them. Below them were the Bhutanese middle class of tax paying citizens who possessed sufficient land and led fairly independent life. At the bottom of the social stratification were the landless people known as drap and zap, who worked for the landed gentry, particularly nobilities in the top layer.

  • མི་སྡེའི་བཀོད་རིམ། (Dzongkha, Tibetan script, Original)
    • > Social Hierarchy (English, Latin script, Translation)
    • > mi sde'i bkod rim (Dzongkha, Latin script, THL Extended Wylie Transliteration)
    • > mi dé kö rim (Dzongkha, Latin script, THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
Subject ID: S7652