Dobdob monk policemen outside the Jokhang

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2001. (Print)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

March 6th 1937


Lhasa > Jokhang (Shira gate from Doring house)

Accession number


Image Dimensions

89x 115 mm

Monk policemen, dobdob (ldob ldob) outside the entrance to the Shira gate on the south side of the Jokhang during Monlam Torgyap. They are wearing padded clothing and holding long wooden staves and branches used to control the crowds during the Great Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo). There is a group of lay officials in the background in the entrance to the Jokhang.

Further Information


Greeting , Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Print silver , Enlargement

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Other Information

Notes on print - 'Torgyab Shengo's assistants hand back power to the City Magistrates' (in pencil) is written on the reverse of print in Richardson's hand. [KC 28/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's hand list: Negative album No.1 'New Year Ceremonies at Lhasa'. The Smon-lam gtor-rgyag Ceremony on 24th of 1st month for driving out evil. Nos. 38 - 43. 'The Ya-sor return at the head of their cavalry which then ride past the Jo-khang and round it.' [KC 19/7/2006]

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 39-49 for a description of the Monlam Torgya ( mon lam gtor rgyag) ceremony. "The ceremony of Monlam Torgya is the longest and the most spectacular event of the New Year celebrations. It is the high point of the Yaso's tenure of office and the day for which the Tsisher was the preparation. It brings together religious and secular elements and marks the formal end of the Monlam Chenmo. ... (p. 39) 'When the road is clear [after the Zimchongpa depart] it is the turn of the cavalry ... . [After prostrating to the Dalai Lama] they walk back, mount their horses and lead the cavalry slowly past the Jokhang and on round the Barkhor to the south-east corner again.' (p. 44) [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. "Dobdob monk policemen outside the Jokhang" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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