Abbot and Monks of Kargyu Monastery

Abbot and Monks of Kargyu Monastery

1998.131.132 (Contact Print)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

August 2nd 1936

Named Person

Abbot of Kargyu Monastery


Chumbi Valley Region > Kargyu

Accession number


Image Dimensions

61 x 87

Group of monks outside Kargyu Monastery. The Abbot of Kargyu monastery is in the centre of the image in a grey robe. His hair is uncut and knotted on the top of his head, and he wears spiral-design ivory ear ornaments. Frescoes can be seen in the background

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

CA.28 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'CA.28 has been written on the back of the print in pencil. Another number has been written in the top left hand corner, but this has been cut in two and is partially indecipherable [MS 09/03/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written handlist of negatives taken whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Group of monks at Kargyu Monastery'

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: This image was not selected for inclusion in the draft album compiled by the Mission whilst in Lhasa from which the official visual record was compiled, although the similar image 1998.131.133 was. This latter image shows the Abbot and monks smiling and displaying more animated gestures. It is one of a group of negatives containing images of the Residency at Gangtok and the Mission party preparing to go to Lhasa, the Maharanee of Sikkim, the journey near Karponang, Changu Lake, Champithang and Chumbi Valley, Kargyu monastery and Yatung. At the top of the list is the comment ‘8, 9, 13, 17, 19, 20, 28, 31, 33, 36, 37 already enlarged 4x6. 3 copies’ [MS 09/03/2006]

Other Information - Description: August 2nd - "At Kargyu we had an official reception by the Lamas, and drank tea with the Head Lama. There was a wonderful band of half a dozen youngsters (budding Lamas one presumes) with drums, trumpets and gong. We went over the halls and shrines of the Gompa and took photos. The Head Lama or abbot is a most venerable and affable old man with a marvellous headdress of interwoven rope strands, or so it looked like" ['Lhasa Mission, 1936: Diary of Events', part I , written by Brig. Philip Neame] [MS 09/03/2006]

Other Information - Description: "We climbed a rickety wooden stair up and up till we reached the Abbot's room. Here we were presented with blue, instead of the customary white silk scarves of greeting, which were collected again before we left. The Abbot (he has held that office for twenty-seven years) is an aged man wit a benign yet lively face; unlike the other monks we had met he wore a grey robe, and had a great mass of hair tied in a bundle on top of his head. We were told that never during his life had he cut his hair. He wore flat discs of spiral-curved ivory in his ears and rings on his fingers - surely unusual for a monk. He also wore steel rimmed glasses" ['Lhasa: The Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto & Windus, 1938, pp. 25-6]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Abbot and Monks of Kargyu Monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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