Picnickers in a Lhasa park

Picnickers in a Lhasa park

1998.285.515 (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Lt Col R. S. Kennedy? Willoughby Patrick Rosemeyer?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

May-September 1921 or 1922


Lhasa >

Accession number


Image Dimensions

137 x 80 mm

Picnicking in a park, probably near Lhasa. A number of tents some with traditional Tibetan applique designs.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St. Antony's College, Oxford


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Sir Charles Bell; Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer

Not Bell? Rosemeyer? Kennedy/

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections


'The People of Tibet', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928 [view list of illustrations]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXVII. [Subject of Chapter] Amusements. [Subject of illustration] P. 268 (bcdu) Ditto [ref: H.149/1998.285.172: A lingka near Lhasa with tents of picnicking parties]"

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'The People of Tibet', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928, facing p.265:"A ling-ka near Lhasa with tents of picnicking parties. The trees are willow and poplar." [MS 10/9/2004]

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: Bell's Diary for 5th May 1921 reports the following information as told to Bell by Kusho Palhese:"The people of Lhasa repair to the ling-kas for picnics mainly between the 3rd and 7th months (say) from May to August inclusive. Riding today through some of the ling-kas I came across fourteen or fifteen of these picnic parties. The Chinese and the Ladakhis usually had a white tent roof, gaily ornamented with the usual blue desings, over their parties, while the Tibetans sat under trees with only a cloth some five feet high stretched along one side to keep off the wind." [Vol. X., p.51]

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: On 25th May 1921 Bell discussed popular forms of Tibetan entertainment with Kusho Palhese and this prompted the following Diary entry in relation to picnic parties:"Apart from these games [ horse racing, archery, putting the weight, long-jumping ] picnicking is a very favourite way of spending the day in summer. Between May and September the lingkas are full of picnic parties. Whether government owned or private owned any may come and bring their lunch and tea and spend the day there. Those who are more particular pitch a tent or the roof of a tent, white with blue designs after the Tibetan fashion. Others just sit down under the poplars or willows, and hang a cloth on one side to keep off the breeze. Sho and Ba (Chinese dominoes) will be played, singing and perhaps dancing especially towards evening, and the stories of older days will be recounted by those who know them. Beer and tea there will be in plenty, and food mostly after the Chinese style." [Diary Vol. X., p.82]

Other Information - Photographer: Bell did not use P-sized or 'Postcard' sized negatives of the kind with which this image is made for his images of Lhasa in 1920-21. However, Lt Col Robert Kennedy, who was with Bell in 1920-21, did so, as did W. P. Rosemeyer, who visited Lhasa many times from 1922 onwards as a telegraph officer involved with establishing the telegraph line to Lhasa. This is a copy of a print, not an original image, and the print may well have been acquired by Bell from one of these sources [MS 25/02/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Picnickers in a Lhasa park" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.285.515.html>.

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