Three Tibetan women at Dekyi Lingka party

Three Tibetan women at Dekyi Lingka party

2001.35.358.1 (Print Black & White)

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Photographer's handlist

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Other Version of this Photo in Frederick Spencer Chapman collection

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Evan Yorke Nepean

Date of Photo

October 3rd 1936


Lhasa > Dekyi Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

106 x 72 mm

Three young, aristocratic Tibetan women, close-up. Wearing brocade chuba, Lhasa head-dresses and jewellery, including large amulet boxes or gau at the neck, here tucked into their chuba. Note also beauty spots.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print silver

Date Acquired

Loaned August 2002

Donated by

Judy Goldthorp


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Lady Nepean

Previous Catologue Number

CX.30 [view film roll]

This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'Tsering women'; [ink no:] 55; [pencil no:] CX/30; [blue no:] 53C'; from an envelope marked 'Chang Girls, Fat Monks, Dancing Girls, Mummers'. [KC 07/08/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Close up of chang girls faces' [MS 07/08/2006]

Research publication - Clare Harris and Tsering Shakya (eds.) 2003 'Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947' (Serindia Publications, Chicago). Page 56.

Other Information - This image appeared in the 2003 Temporary Exhibition at the Pitt Rivers "Seeing Lhasa: British Depictions of the Tibetan Capital 1936-1947"

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: Portrait of the women who served Tibetan beer at the party featured in Plates 75, 54 and 55. The so-called “chang girls” were usually servants from leading Lhasa aristocratic families who could also be commandeered to work for the Tibetan government. Their role was to pour out chang and cajole party-goers (by fair means or foul) to empty their glasses. One girl would pour beer from an enamel teapot while another kept her supplied from a larger container. Spencer Chapman describes them as often as being “remarkably pretty”. In this portrait, the women have decorated their faces with daubs of clay. [CH 2003]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'CX.' taken on the British Mission to Lhasa of 1936-37 comprise a group of negatives containing images of Phendong and his house, grinding grain, officials (5th rank), Rupon, doctors, artists at work, official’s at Regent’s departure. They all seem to have been taken between October 2nd - 6th 1936 [MS 07/08/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Mission Diary for October 3rd: "Today we gave the last of our big lunch parties. The guests were officials below the fourth rank. They were as easy to entertain as all our earlier guests and it was an enjoyable afternoon but we were all relieved to see the end of a week of parties" ['Lhasa Mission, 1936: Diary of Events', Part VII p. 2, written by Hugh Richardson]. See Bodleian Library Hugh Richardson Archive MS. Or. Richardson 3 folio 42 for a fuller description of this event.

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Three Tibetan women at Dekyi Lingka party" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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