Yaso Generals on horse back at Trapshi Tsisher near Lhasa

Yaso Generals on horse back at Trapshi Tsisher near Lhasa

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

March 5th 1937


Lhasa > Trapshi

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 x 43 mm

Three Yaso commanders and two of their attendants on horseback wearing ceremonial dress accompanied by a few men walking and bearing standards at the Trapshi Tsisher ground outside Lhasa, used for military reviews and ceremonies. The standard bearers are wearing ancient armour. There is a large crowd lining the parade ground. This ceremony would take place in the first month of the Tibetan New Year. A small dog can be seen running in front of the horses and the mountains surrounding the Lhasa Valley can be seen in the background

Further Information


Riding , 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 3. '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.
No. 3. They [the Yaso] pay their respects to the Kashag and then ride past at the head of the cavalry.' [KC 8/7/2006]

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. As for the Yaso costume, "The Yaso robes are of the most costly brocade embroidered with dragons on the front and back, and so heavy they can stand up by themselves. They wear large, round, flat hats with a fur brim and red silk crown with a vase-shaped gold and turquoise ornament and a coral button on top. The robe is girded by a wide gold belt and they wear a dagger, an embroidered purse and a silk-covered cup case. Their attendants are also in a fine brocade or silk of blue or green; ...". (p.31) ... "The expense to the Yaso of their term of office is very heavy indeed. Different dress has to be worn on different occasions and although some items may be borrowed from friends, there is an element of competition to go one better than one's predecessor." (p.33) [KC 8/7/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Yaso Generals on horse back at Trapshi Tsisher near Lhasa" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_2001.>.

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