Tibetan foot soldier with old style armour and shield

Tibetan foot soldier with old style armour and shield

1998.285.69.1 (Glass negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


(Lantern Slide)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

February 6th 1921



Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

Tibetan foot soldier, or Zimchongpa, with old style armour and shield. This type of armour is worn during the dances by soldiers during the ceremony of Tse Gutor in the Potala Palace.

Further Information



Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.

Copy difference

Lantern Shortened image


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer

Rabden Lepcha?

Previous Catologue Number

See H.64

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry for H.64: "[No. of chapter] IV. [Subject of Chapter] History up to 1900. [Subject of illustration] H.64 (r) Foot soldier, old style. [Remarks] L.31 (D.L.)

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Bell's List of Illustrations does not distinguish between 1998.285.69 & 1998.285.70. The two images are very similar, although some movement of the shield is visible and slightly different incorporation of the balcony in the background and position of the subject's head and movement of the tassels on the headgear. [MS 14/5/2004]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'Tibet Past & Present', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, facing p.29:"A foot soldier, old style"

Other Information - Description: Bell's Diary entry for March 3rd, 1921: 'The Sim-chung-ngas wear high head-dresses. They contain among other adornments a row of 7 or 8 peacock's feathers and fluffy, round white balls made from the soft down of vultures, the latter a sacred symbol, for they are worn also by the 'Protectors of the Faith' (Cho-kyong). // Each man receives a small fief from the Tibetan government. This descends from father to son and the duties of a sim-ching-nga descend with it. I am told that they are all men of Central Tibet"

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Tibetan foot soldier with old style armour and shield" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.285.69.1.html>.

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