Throne of Karmashar Oracle at festival

Throne of Karmashar Oracle at festival

1998.286.190 (Glass negative)

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Key Information


Sir Charles Bell or Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

June 20th 1921

Named Person

Karmashar Oracle


Lhasa > Karmashar Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

78 x 103

Throne of the Karmashar Oracle in a decorated tent surrounded by a crowd of people, at the festival of "The Incense of the Whole World"

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative Quarter Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Revised Photographer

Rabden Lepcha?

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXXVI. [Subject of Chapter] Oracles [Subject of Illustration] Q178 (m). Throne of the Karmashar Oracle at the festival of "The Incense of the Whole World", in the Karmarshar Lingka. (See Diary XI, 11)."

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Bell's Diary entry for 20th June 1921" "Today, being the 15th of the 5th tibetan month, is the festival of Dzam-ling Chi-sang, "The Incense of the Whole World." It is a day of festival for all the gods (lha), so the Tsendron tells me. The Tsendron, Palhese and I ride out in the forenoon to see it, going first to the lingka of the Karmashar Oracle. ... Everybody today should offer incense and may spend the rest of the day in the lingkas near the river, enjoying themselves in the picnics so dear to the heart of the people of Lhasa, whether Tibetans, Chinese or Muhammadens from Ladakh. More go to the lingkas today than on any other day in the year, and all are in their best clothes. We ride through three or four lingkas and I take some photos (3A). The private lingkas are much fuller than those belonging to Government, because in the latter fires are not allowed to be lighted on the ground, and this restriction is inconvenient when a party came out for the day. The tea then has to be kept warm by charcoal etc. burning in a brazier, on which the teapot is kept" [Diary XI. p.11]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Throne of Karmashar Oracle at festival" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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