Villagers seeking a blessing for good crops

Villagers seeking a blessing for good crops

1998.285.546.1 (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


(Lantern Slide)

[view record]

Key Information


Lt Col R. S. Kennedy?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

September 5th 1921


Phenpo Valley Region > Yatsa

Accession number


Image Dimensions

137 x 80 mm

Villagers from Yatsa village, near Lhundrub Dzong, seeking blessing for good crops. The villagers are forming a line, and one man to the far end holds a flagstaff. The man next to him is carrying a musical instrument over his shoulder. Mountain range in the background.

Further Information


Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated in 1983

Donated by

St. Antony’s College, Oxford

Copy difference



Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

The Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer


Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections


'The People of Tibet', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928 [view list of illustrations]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXXII. [Subject of Chapter] The Religion. [Subject of illustration] P.395 (dx) Inhabitants of a village near Lhun-trup Dzong, carrying the Buddhist scriptures round the fields as a prayer for good crops. (See Diary XII, 68). [Remarks] L.196"

Other Information - Description: Bell's Diary entry for 5th September 1921, in which he describes his journey (with Kennedy) from Talung to Lhundrub village in the Pempo valley: "On the way we meet the villagers of Ya-tsa village, going in procession around their village. One villager carries in front the banner of the district, and each of the other villagers carries a volume of the Buddhist scriptures. behind rides the headman of the village mounted on a pony (Photo 3A). The object of the procession is to ward off the frost and hail and is in fact a religious service to ensure that the crops which will be reaped in a few days time will be good. Shesur tells me it is a good omen to meet a religious procession of this kind" [Diary XII pp. 68-69]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'The People of Tibet', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928, facing p.50:"Procession of villagers in prayer for the crops at Ya-tsa." The published image has been cropped down the left hand side compared to the original. [MS 10/9/2004]

Other Information - Photographer: This image was probably taken by Lt Col R. S. Kennedy rather than by Bell or Rabden as it is a different sized negative to that which Bell usually used. Kennedy seems to have used Postcard-sized negatives for taking photographs during his time in Lhasa [MS 24/02/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Villagers seeking a blessing for good crops" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum