Officials bowing at Trapshi Tsisher review ceremony

Officials bowing at Trapshi Tsisher review ceremony

2001. (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

March 5th 1937


Lhasa > Trapshi

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 x 43 mm

Junior officials pay their respects and report to senior officials and members of the Cabinet at the annual Review ceremony held at the Trapshi Tshisher official ceremonial parade ground just outside Lhasa. A woman with a triangular Lhasa headdress can be seen on the right side of the photograph with her back to the camera and with her hand on the back of a child in a fur and brocade hat.

Further Information


Greeting , Gesturing Head , Gesturing Hand , Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative album - '1' 'Chipsha: Dzonggyab [rdzong rgyab]: Torgyap [gtor rgyag] ----- [illegible]' is written in white in Richardson's hand. Notes inside negative album: white label with Richardson's name and address in St. Andrews. [KC 8/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio 10. 'GRWA BZHI RTSIS BSHER' [sic.]; [ Trapshi Tsisher (gra phyi rtsis bsher) Review at Trapshi] [KC 8/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's hand list: Negative album No.1 'New Year Ceremonies at Lhasa' [nos. 1 -16] ' The Grwa bzhi (or Phyi) bsher [typed and] 'Rtsis bsher' handwritten in Richardson's hand. "This is a review of the rta-dmag , the old feudal cavalry of whom each noble family had to provide a detachment. It takes place on the sandy plain near the army barracks at Grwa-bzhi on the 23rd of the Tibetan 1st month.
Nos. 9 - 12. boys of noble family who are training to be officials check the arms and equipment and report that they are in order; one reports on the horses, another on the armour, another on the lances and so on.' [KC 15/7/2006]

Technical Information - This image seems to have been taken with a Zeiss Super Ikonta C camera. This was a 6x9 format camera but came with a film plane mask that enabled 6x4.5 images to be taken. This enabled 16 images to be taken on a roll of 120 film as opposed to 8 without the mask [MS 6/10/2005]

Other Information - Background: See Hugh E. Richardson, Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year , 1993, London: Serindia Publications, pp 31-37 for a description of the preparations and the actual day of the Review at Trapshi. "... the Tsikhang official steps up to the tent [where the Kashag ministers are seated] and bowing almost double as he sweeps off his hat, announces in a loud voice that the number of men and horses is correct. He is followed in succession by four boys , from the Tsikhang school for aspiring officials, smartly dressed in fine broadcloth with round yellow hats and their hair in neat pigtails down their backs. They come up in turn to the Kashag's tent and bowing deeply report in a shrill voice on different items of the equipment - so many saddles, guns, lances, arrows, pairs of boots and so on." (p.37) [KC 23/10/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: In a letter to his parents dated November 6th 1936, Hugh Richardson commented that he was investigating buying a new Zeiss Super Ikonta camera [Hugh Richardson Manuscript Archive, Bodleian Library, MS. Or. Richardson 3 folio 46]. On March 29th 1937 he comments in a further letter to his parents that it would probaby be better to use the larger image frame [MS Or Richardson 3 folio 82]. This has assisted the dating of this image to 1937 [MS 6/10/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Officials bowing at Trapshi Tsisher review ceremony" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum