Ceremony inside a monastery, Gyantse

Ceremony inside a monastery, Gyantse

BMH.F.84.1 (Film negative)

Image for comparison

Key Information


Arthur Hopkinson


A. J. Hopkinson

Date of Photo

December 1927 - January 1928?


Gyantse > Torkya Monastery

Accession number


Image Dimensions

85 x 115

Monks at a ceremony inside a monastery in or near Gyantse. The monks out of focus on the left are playing long horns. A large number of ritual offerings can be seen, as well as thangka around the walls.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate


A. J. Hopkinson's Tour of Duty as British Trade Agent, Gyantse, 1927-28

Other Information

In Negative - 'F-84' has been written on the right edge of the negative in blue-black ink [MS 11/08/2006]

Notes on print/mount - One contact print made from this negative is contained in A. J. Hopkinson's negative case with the negative. The print was made using Velox paper. The caption 'F.84' has been written on the back of the print in pencil, as has the reference 'F.84' [MS 11/08/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - [Caption in A. J. Hopkinson's negative album 'Tibet F']: 'Scenes from clerical life - Torkya' [MS 05/05/2006]

Other Information - Description: [Extract from taped interview, Richard Blurton and Mrs Hopkinson] '84 - interior of a shrine during a service being performed by two rows of monks - those in the foreground (blurred), holding trumpets. Many elements of religious paraphernalia visible - thang-ka , lamps, cymbals, ghanta , torma , tea- and tsampa -bowls, a spirit catcher, water receptacles with peacock feathers, and fine wood carving (partly visible). The two images on the main altar appear to be Padmasambhava and the Buddha. Mrs H. [Hopkinson] mentions that most thang-ka that came on the market were all slightly damaged especially after the XIII Dalai Lama managed to tighten up monastic discipline on his return from exile in India' [MS 11/08/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The dating of this image is partly suggested by a comment made by Hopkinson in one of his letters home that his photographs taken in 'the monastery' [unidentified, but in or around Gyantse] were unsuccessful: “All the flashlight photos and time exposures I took in the monastery are a washout; and I then found that my shutter wasn’t working properly. I enclose some photos, F1-21” [A. J. Hopkinson Archive, OIOC British Library, Mss Eur D998/54, Journal Letters from Gyantse and Various Camps, 1927-28, commencing February 5th 1928, Gyantse, pages 3]. This date range also accords broadly with the sequence of images as they appear in his negative album 'F' in the British Museum collection [MS 12/08/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Ceremony inside a monastery, Gyantse" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_BMH.F.84.1.html>.

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