Two dancers in Dekyi Lingka

Two dancers in Dekyi Lingka

1998.131.255 (Film negative)

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Raw Image


Photographer's handlist

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

November 10th - 12th 1936


Lhasa > Dekyi Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

112 x 85 mm

Two Khampa dancers, both masked, drum in foreground. Dancers are wearing long tassled belts and thick cloths wrapped repeatedly around their waists

Further Information


Dancing , Performing

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

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

C.12.10 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

In Negative - the number '10' has been scratched into the negative in the bottom right hand corner [MS 26/3/2005]

Technical Information - This image was taken with a quarter plate Zeiss Nixe film or film pack camera as the negative is quarter-plate sized. See Chapman
Lhasa The Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938] for a description of the still and cine cameras that Chapman used as Mission photographer [MS 25/2/2005]

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]: 'V. [vertical] 2 [Kham] dancers masked drum in front' [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.12' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Ladakhi men, Ngagchen Rimpoche, Mir/Amir Khan (the mission cook), football match, Dagg, Kham dancers, Nechung, Drepung, the Potala and the sand track approaching it. They all seem to have been taken between October 28th and November 15th 1936 [MS 06/04/2006]

Other Information - Description: These two masked performers seem to be part of the well-known dance troupe the Khampa Dancers, which Chapman describes in his book Lhasas the Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938; reprint, London: Readers Union Ltd., 1940]. He wrote of them: "Another form of entertainment was provided by troupes of dancers who appeared from time to time at the Dekyi Lingka. One group, known as the Khampa Dancers - since this form of dancing originated in Kham - were skilful acrobats. These were professional players who toured southern Tibet and even went down to Gangtok and Kalimpong. ... // In another dance the men wore flat masks on which the features were indicated with pieces of cloth and cowrie shells. Two dancers would face each other and with hands on hips would ludicrously twitch their heads and shoulders in mock battle. Suddenly they would hurl themselves in a backward somersault, landing on their feet, to resume the contest. Then, grasping each other so that one man's feet then the other's standing on the ground" [ibid., pp. 272-3] [MS 26/3/2005]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: see 1998.131.256 and 1998.131.257 for other images of this dance troupe [MS 26/3/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Two dancers in Dekyi Lingka" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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