Family of Surkhang Se

Family of Surkhang Se

1998.131.496 (Print black & white)

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Raw Image



Key Information


Hugh Richardson?


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

February 13th 1937

Named Person

Surkhang's child


Lhasa > Surkhang House

Accession number


Image Dimensions

174 x 114

Child of the Surkhang family with nurse. Wearing hat designed to ward off evil spirits and very expensive brocade silk outer garments and a lace bib. This special dress was probably being worn to celebrate New Year

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Mrs Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

5.13 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The back of this print is covered in crop and reproduction instructions. The reference '5-13' has also been written on the back of the print in pencil, as has the caption "Surkang baby wearing hat designed to keep off evil spirits' [MS 30/03/2006]

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]: 'Surkang babe and nurse'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 2: ‘ “Rogues Gallery” - 42/7 - A nurse and a baby’ [MS 30/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with '5' comprise a group of negatives mainly containing images of Kyibu and family and Surkhang and family. [MS 30/03/2006]

Other Information - Photographer: Images in this group were probably taken by Hugh Richardson. Not only is this suggested on the back of print 1998.131.494.1, but circumstantial evidence also suggests this. This kind of ceremonial dress would be worn on the 2nd day of the New Year, which in 1937 fell on February 13th. Chapman was the only member of the mission who was allowed to go to the Potala on that day, where he took photographs and cine film of officials on horseback and of the 'Pole Trick' outside the Potala. Richardson, however, had to visit about eight lesser officials with New Year greetings, some of whom would be wearing special dress prior to or after going to the Potala. As this image seems to have been taken in Surkhang Se's house, given that it is accompanied by photographs of his family, it seems likely that this image was taken by Richardson whilst making a New Year visit [MS 30/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Family of Surkhang Se" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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