Chopa o fferings from Gyu Monastery

Chopa offerings from Gyu Monastery

1998.285.237.2 (Lantern Slide)

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Raw Image


(Glass negative)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

February 22nd 1921


Lhasa > Barkhor > Jokhang

Accession number


Image Dimensions

81 x 81 mm

Large chopa votive offerings being paraded through a crowd as part of the ceremonies of the 'Offerings of the Fifteenth'

Further Information


Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Lantern Slide

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

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXXII to XXXIV. [Subject of Chapter] The Religion [Subject of Illustration] H.206 (dp) The two offerings of Gyu monastery in the "Offerings of the Fifteenth." (Diary VIII,93). [Remarks] See also (bm)"

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Although this lantern slide has been cross-referenced by previous PRM cataloguers as relating to BL.H.188, in fact it has been made from BL.H.206. Bell does not distinguish in his list of illustrations between 1998.285.236 and 1998.285.237 and both images may be referenced by his caption for H.206

Notes on print/mount - '34' has been written in black ink. This slide seems to have been used as slide 34 in the lecture 'A Year in Lhasa', which was first presented at the Royal Geographical Society on 3rd December 1923. The text, with a lesser number of images, was later published in The Geographical Journal of February 1924. Bell may also have presented this lecture on other occasions about which we have no information at present. [MS 6/9/2004]

Other Information - Description: Using one of Bell's images of this event to illustrate the text, Hugh Richardson described events at the 'Offerings of the Fifteenth' thus: "In the evening there is a spectacular festival known as the
Chonga Chopa , the 'Offerings of the Fifteenth'. All afternoon monks and servants of the government, the great monasteries and noble houses have been busy all round the Barkor, erecting tall wooden scaffoldings often higher than the roof of the Tsuklakhang and neighbouring houses. On these they fix pyramidal leather frames covered with elaborate decorations in coloured butter - deities, lamas, demons, lions, dragons, garudas, auspicious signs, flowers and more besides. Some of them incorporate movable figures; an oracle being the most popular. The shape of these huge chopas resemble that of the torma , cake offerings made of dough and butter or of painted wood seem on most altars. The ingenuity and skill in the craftsmanship is remarkable and there is keen competition to produce the best chopa " [ Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year , Hugh Richardson, London: Serindia Publications, 1993. p.27]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Chopa o fferings from Gyu Monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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