Picnics at the gun and arrow shooting

Picnics at the gun and arrow shooting

1998.285.144 (Glass negative)

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Other Version of this Photo in Sir Charles Bell collection

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

March 5th 1921


Lhasa > Lhalu House

Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

General view of picnic parties at the Dzonggyap shambe or `The gallop behind the fort'. Tents can be seen in the background, as can Lhalu Mansion in the far distance.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer

Rabden Lepcha

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


This Image also appears in another collection


Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXIV. [Subject of Chapter] Food and Drink. [Subject of Illustration] H.123 (k) Picnic parties at the gun and arrow shooting"

Other Information - Photographer: Photograph re-classified as Rabden's because Bell's Diaries for this event describe Bell being seated in one of the tents seen in the distance and there is no description of him walking around the scene. This is typical of the kind of image that would have been more appropriately taken by Rabden than by Bell himself [MS 2/6/2004]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: This takes place on the 26th Day of the 1st Tibetan Month. A competition between the men of Yaso's(commanders of feudal cavalry at New Year Ceremonies) cavalry in a display of marksmanship at targets suspended beside a runway in a meadow north of the Potala and south of the Lhalu mansion. Lesser officials sit on the ground in order of precedence. Usual formalities; scarves, tea. Each squadron provided by the noble houses of Lhasa then takes part separately. The horsemen ride down the runway firing with a matchlock with antelope horn prongs at the first target, then rapidly swinging the gun round their backs they grab the bow and take an arrow from their quiver ready for the next target. This day ends the formal ceremonies of the New Year.

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Picnics at the gun and arrow shooting" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.285.144.html>.

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