Ache Lhamo at Tsetrung Lingka

Ache Lhamo at Tsetrung Lingka

1998.285.159.2 (Lantern Slide)

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Raw Image


(Glass negative)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

August 12th 1921


Lhasa > Tsetrung Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

81 x 81 mm

Bell's Ache Lhamo. Actors seen under large decorated tent to left of image. This is the stage. Around the main tent there are other smaller tents. Spectators sitting. Mountains in background.

Further Information



Photographic Process

Lantern Slide

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer

Rabden Lepcha?

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXVII. [Subject of Chapter] Amusements. [Subject of Illustration] H.137 (i) My Ache Lhamo. Gya-za Pe-za, Chinese Emperor, with long moustache, standing, facing us. Ministers of India, Mongolia, Persia and Turkestan ranged along the sides. Tibetan Minister sitting down facing us. [Remarks] L.131 (Y in L) "

Notes on print/mount - '42' has been written in blue-black ink. This slide seems to have been used as slide 42 in the lecture 'A Year in Lhasa', which was first presented at the Royal Geographical Society on 3rd December 1923. The text, with a lesser number of images, was later published in
The Geographical Journal of February 1924. Bell may also have presented this lecture on other occasions about which we have no information at present. [MS 24/8/2004]

Other Information - Description: Bell's Diary for 12th August 1921:"I gave a theatrical (Ache Lhamo) entertainment, lasting three days, to some thirty or forty of my Tibetan friends, the total number entertained including servants being 70 to 80. Tibetan custom prescribes that the servants of those invited shall also be fed. In addition to cups of tea, every half hour or so. Two meals are given daily, one about mid-day, and the other about five in the afternoon. Tsarong Shappe, Palha Kenchen and Ngar-po Shappe, who is related to Palhese, are very generous in lending me silk hangings, cups, cooking utensils etc. etc. // The entertainment was given in the Tse-trung Lingka. We, host and guests, sit in the Tro-khang; Kennedy and I with the Shappes and Dukes on the roof under a tent awning; the other guests in the verandah below. The Prime Minister is too unwell to come. The stage is outside on the grass. Round it in a semi-circle are arranged tents for the wives and families of the guests; and others also, of rank, pitch tents in line with these. Between these tents and the stage and in any available gaps, sit the populace of Lhasa, varying in number from five hundred to two thousand people according to the popularity of the performers (Photo). The Magistrates of Potala Sho have sent police, at the Tsendron's request to preserve order among the crowd, who may well become unduly merry later in the day. // Friday, Saturday and Monday were the days of the entertainment. A little rain fell on Sunday; but most fortunately, none on the days of the performance. It was very hot on the roof. The large tent awning over the stage (photo) was lent by the Sera Monastery." [Diary Vol. XI, p.89]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Bell's Diary for August 12th 1921:"Today is the first day. The play known as "Chinese and Nepalese Princesses" ( Gya-za Pe-za ) is acted. The troupe is that of the Gyan-pa-ras . All the parts are taken by men in this and all the other troupes, except that of the Kyor-mo Lung-ngas , who alone employ women, and that only in some of the actress parts. This play tells the coming of the Chinese and Nepalese Princesses to Tibet as wives for King Songtsen Gampo." [Diary Vol. XI, p.90]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Ache Lhamo at Tsetrung Lingka" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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