Zisa


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Zisa

 

the economic unit of the Lamaistic monasteries in Mongolia. It evolved in the middle of the 17th century and gradually became strong, based on the cruel exploitation of the sabinar (monastery peasants), local herdsmen, and lowest lamas. On the eve of the Mongolian people’s revolution of 1921, the monasteries and ecclesiastical feudal lords possessed up to 3 million head of cattle, almost one-third of all the cattle in the country. The average monastery had 5,000 head of cattle. As the liquidation of feudal lords as a class in the Mongolian People’s Republic was carried out, toward the end of the 1930’s, the zisa disappeared; cattle and property were confiscated and handed over to state farms and poor peasants.

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