Procession of armed cavalry in the Barkhor Lhasa

Procession of armed cavalry in the Barkhor Lhasa

1999.23.2.18 (Print black & white)

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Key Information


H. Staunton ?


Harry Staunton

Date of Photo

1940 - 1941 [March]


Lhasa > Barkhor

Accession number


Image Dimensions

67 x 113 mm

A procession of mounted horsemen in ancient armour proceeding along the Barkhor, Lhasa. They are wearing chain-mail, steel helmets with large plumes and they are variously armed with matchlocks, swords, bows and arrows. Some of them carry large round shields of strongly made wickerwork. This procession possibly took place on the 24th day of the first month and marked the formal end of the Great Prayer Festival, Monlam Chenmo. It is being viewed by crowds of mostly monks and lay people. Onlookers view the spectacle from the roofs of houses and from first and second floor windows of the houses lining the street. There is a tall prayer flag pole in the background.

Further Information


Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1999

Donated by

Diana Hughes


H. Staunton

Photo also owned by

Diana Hughes

This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - "Velox" is stamped in black ink on the reverse of the photograph as is the number 611 in red ink. [KC 18/10/2005]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Hugh Richardson ( Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year, 1993, London: Serindia Publications, p. 44) describes the setting for this photograph thus: "When the road is clear it is the turn of the cavalry [to approach and prostrate in the direction of the Dalai Lama's window in the Jokhang] who have in the meantime circled the city, each wing by a different route, meeting at the south-east corner of the Barkor. ... The Yaso then lead their troops to the south-west corner of the Barkor where they dismount and walk with their attendants to the forecourt of the Jokhang where they prostrate themselves to the Dalai Lama after which they walk back, mount their horses and lead the cavalry slowly past the Jokhang and on round the Barkor to the south-east corner again." [KC 29/11/2005]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: Staunton was certainly in Lhasa for the Tibetan New Year in 1940 and possibly in 1941. This image is part of a group of 17 photographs taken over a two-day period (the 23rd and 24th of the first Tibetan month) which have the number 611 stamped in red on the back. [KC 31/10/2005]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: According to T. the squat 3-storey house on the right is Pomdatsang (The old Tsarong house). The house opposite it is the Surkhang house and the house in the foreground, on the left, with people on the roof is Lhabrang Nyingba. The photograph was probably taken from the roof of Samdru Phodrang (also known as Phodangshar and Yabshi Sampho) the house of the 7th Dalai Lama's (Kelsang Gyatso) family. [KC 14/11/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Procession of armed cavalry in the Barkhor Lhasa" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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