Nomad sewing up bags of salt

No scan for this photo

1998.131.244.2 (Print black & white)

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(Print black & white)

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

January 7th 1937


Lhasa Area

Accession number


Image Dimensions

110 x 160 mm

Nomad sewing up a bag of salt to be carried on the back of a pack animal. Wearing a sheepskin chuba or coat. Many woollen textile bags of goods can be seen loaded up in the background to the left. A yak's wool tent can also be seen on the right

Further Information



Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

BJ.35 In publication
'Lhasa Mission 1936, Diary of Events', P. Neame, H. Richardson, F. S. Chapman, Government of India Political Department [Note: photographs for October 18th - November 4th 1936 are not included as their relationship to text is not detailed; see Mission Diary text for details of images] [see photos in publication]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'B.J. 35' has been written on the back of the print in pencil. This relates to the numbering system for images that Chapman used on the British Mission to Lhasa in 1936-37. A small figure '8' has been written in pencil in the top right hand corner [MS 10/2/2005]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Chapman used this image in the official Mission Diary for the 1936-37 Mission to Lhasa led by Sir Basil Gould to illustrate the entry for January 7th 1937. On this day Chapman rose early to go to the outskirts of Lhasa to photograph some of the nomad camps, which had come to Lhasa to pay taxes and participte in the New Year festivities. The text accompanying this image reads: "These nomads came down from the Chang Tang, the vast arid semi-desert away to the North of Lhasa. The journey took them fifty days. Hundreds of yaks carried wool, while each sheep was loaded with a bag of salt on each side of its back. This salt is deposited on the shores of the brackish lakes by the evaporation of the water. As barley cannot grow up there they exchange their wool and salt for tsamba (roasted barley meal) and other wares."

Technical Information - This is a copy print similar in kind to others in Chapman's collection that were used for conveying reproduction instructions for publishers and others [MS 10/2/2005]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: 1998.131.244.1/2 - 1998.131.249 all appear to have been taken with the same group of people on the same occasion [MS 10/2/2005]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'BJ' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Lhasa band, chang girls, Tibetan officials including Tsarong and Ringang, Finch, Norbhu, Everest Permit and Khampa people. They all seem to have been taken in the early part of January 7th 1937. Chapman seems to have ventured beyond Lhasa to take photographs of nomad groups in the valley on January 7th 1937 [MS 16/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Nomad sewing up bags of salt" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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