Ragyapa camp outside Lhasa

Ragyapa camp outside Lhasa

BMR. (Album Print black & white)

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Other Version of this Photo in Frederick Spencer Chapman collection

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Hugh E. Richardson

Date of Photo

January 1937


Lhasa > Ragyapa camp

Accession number


Ragyapa camp outside Lhasa. Woman weaving with back-strap loom on the right in front of the tent, woman with prayer wheel on left of tent with tea churn beside her. View of settlement and mountains in the background

Further Information



Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Donated to the British Museum in 1986 by Hugh E. Richardson

Previous Catologue Number

8.11 [view film roll]

Related Collections

F. S. Chapman Collection in the Pitt Rivers Museum

This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The back of the print has a number of pencilled crop mark instructions and other annotations. The cropping instructions would reduce the width of the frame by taking the borders to the edges of the tents. The number 25a has been written in the top left hand corner and the Chatto & Windus reference number, C&W 41074/18, has been written along the bottom edge. The number reference 11-8 or 8-11 has been written in pencil across the of the print. This probably relates to the numbering system Chapman adopted for the images he took whilst accompanying the British Mission to Lhasa in 1936-7 [MS 21/3/2005]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Ragyapas - Tents: woman weaving'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 4: ‘16/1 - Camp of outcasts - butchers and disposers of dead bodies, camped outside Lhasa city’ [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with '8.' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Mondo’s house, a weaver and ragyapa people. All these images seem to have been taken in January 1937 [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Description: Chapman described encountering the dwellings of
Ragyapa people in his book Lhasa the Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus 1938; reprint, London: Readers Union Ltd., 1940, pp.166-7]. He describes encountering a group when completing a circuit of the Linghkor pilgrimage route around Lhasa close to the Regent's summer palace: "On the left of the road are the hovels of the lowest class of Lhasa society, the ra-gyap-pa, a community of scavenging beggars whose work is to dispose of the dead bodies. ... // Their dwellings consist of a wall of sods into which are built the horns of animals; over the top is raised a roof of ragged yak-hair tent-cloth. This is often surrounded by an outer wall of the horns of yaks, cattle and sheep heaped together. In the summer their hovels are gay with nasturtiums and marigolds. ... But these are the lowest of the Ra-gyap-pa. Further on, though they must still live outside the city, they have proper houses, built of sun-dried bricks, but still with neat rows of yak horns let into the face of the wall, like a mosaic" [1940, pp. 166-7] [MS 21/3/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Ragyapa camp outside Lhasa" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_BMR.>.

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