Yaso Generals on horse back at Trapshi Tsisher near Lhasa

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2001. (Print)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

March 5th 1937


Lhasa > Trapshi

Accession number


Image Dimensions

116 x 90 mm

Yaso commanders and two standard bearers at the Trapshi Tsisher ceremonial parade ground near Lhasa. The standard bearers wear ancient helmets and chain mail. A group of people line the road and a small boy is walking close by the horsemen. The carpets upon which official spectators had been seated can be seen in the left foreground of the image.

Further Information


Riding , Ritual Activity

Photographic Process


Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Other Information

Notes on print - 'At the Tsi sher. The Yasor lead the two precious standards the Shung sog Gyal po Yab Se past the Kashag' and '23/1' (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' [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. 4. shows the standard bearers who wore ancient helmets and chain mail. These two sets of armour are greatly prized and are known as the
Gzung srog rgyal-so yab-sras "The life rulers of the State, father and son". On the front of the helmets are inscriptions in arabic in gilded writing. Photograph of similar, but less important armour can be seen in the illustration at p.214 in my Tibet and its History . ' [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 standard bearers, they wear "particularly fine armour with large steel breast-plates: they have special helmets on the frontlet of which the name of Allah is inscribed in gold filigree. It is well-known whether the helmets date from eighth-century contacts with the Arabs or from some other source and period, but the armour is greatly venerated under the name Shungsog Gyalpo Yapse, "The Royal Father and Son, Life Force of the State." Each standard-bearer carries a tall lance wrapped in a painted banner and crowned with a trident, which are called the Tensung Marnak, the "Red and Black Protectors of the Faith", perhaps representing warriors fromthe retinue of Pehar or Penden Lhamo. They are said to be or to resemble the standards of Gushri Khan's forces. These precious objects are kept in the treasury of the Jokhang and a representative of each of the main offices of the government has to be present when they are taken out." (p.34) [KC 15/7/2006

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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