The 14th Dalai Lama's family and servants in Lhasa

The 14th Dalai Lama's family and servants in Lhasa

1999. (Album Print black & white)

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Key Information


H. Staunton ?


Harry Staunton

Date of Photo

1940 - 1941

Named Person

14th Dalai Lama's father, 14th Dalai Lama's mother, Gyalo Dhondup, Phuntsog Tashi


Lhasa > House near Norbu Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

111 x 68 mm

Members of the 14th Dalai Lama's family and servants standing in front of their first house in Lhasa near the Norbu Lingka. Seated in the centre are the Dalai Lama's parents, his father Choekyong Tsering, later known as Gyayab Chenmo (1899-1947), and his mother Dekyi Tsering, later known as Gyayum Chenmo (1900-1981), holding a baby on her lap. On the right of her is the Dalai Lama's eldest sister, Tsering Dolma (1919-1964) and on the left of the Dalai Lama's father are his brother, Gyalo Dhondup (1928- ) and Tsering Dolma's husband, Phuntsog Tashi. The people in the background are the family's servants. There are two wire cages containing parakeets hanging from the eaves of the house. There is a carpet at the feet of the Dalai Lama's parents over which a dog is walking. The Dalai Lama's father is wearing the robes and hat of an aristocrat, his mother a robe in the Amdo style and a brocade and fur hat, his brother is wearing a flat-topped hat of a lesser official. Apart from a boy monk in the back row, everybody else is wearing brocade and fur hats.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1999

Donated by

Diana Hughes


H. Staunton

Photo also owned by

Diana Hughes

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - "The Dalai Lama's family. A well known photograph so probably not Staunton's. Tsering W. Shakya related this in July 1997. Note the two cages with the canaries which were gifts to the Dalai Lama from the British Mission. See Gould's official report and his account in the Geographical Magazine of 1947. The picture is not the same as that in the Dalai Lama's sister's book [ Tibet: My Story: An Autobiography , 1997, London: Element by Jetsun Pema] where the shot is taken as slightly different angle." [Hugh Richardson in conversation with Roger Croston, detailed in H. Staunton undated Related Documents File, PRM Manuscript Collections]. It is unclear whether this is Richardson's comment or Croston's. [KC 20/12/2005]

Research publication - A photograph taken at the same time of the same group but without the dog is reproduced in Martin Brauen, ed.
The Dalai Lamas A Visual History , 2005, Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich, Chicago: Serindia Publications, p.192 with the caption, "The extended family of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. In the centre, father and mother, on her lap Jetsun Pema, his youngest sister, and to their right his oldest sister, Tsering Dolma. Next to the father is Gyalo Thondup, brother. Behind them, some servants. 1940."

Other Information - Album: This image appears in Staunton's personal album on a page (1999.23.1.14) with three other images. [KC 9/12/2005]

Other Information - People

Other Information - People: The Dalai Lama's parents had sixteen children in all, seven of whom survived infancy. [KC 20/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "The 14th Dalai Lama's family and servants in Lhasa" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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