Beggar in Lhasa with prayer wheel and rosary

Beggar in Lhasa with prayer wheel and rosary

2001.35.285.1 (Print Black & White)

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Raw Image


Other Version of this Photo in Hugh E. Richardson collection

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Image in Album

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Photographer's handlist

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Other Version of this Photo in Frederick Spencer Chapman collection

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Evan Yorke Nepean

Date of Photo

October 6th - 17th 1936?


Lhasa Area

Accession number


Image Dimensions

80 x 106 mm

Old Lhasa beggar with prayer wheel and rosary. Is wearing a necklace made out of conch shells and in his left hand he's got prayer beads and prayer wheel in right. Small covered bowl or box on his right. Wearing boots that are tied with a textile strip that is wrapped around the top under the knee. The sole is made of leather and woollen cloth is sewn on to make the upper

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print silver

Date Acquired

Loaned August 2002

Donated by

Judy Goldthorp


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Lady Nepean

Previous Catologue Number

C.16.12 [view film roll]

This Image also appears in another collection

BMR. 1998.131.273

Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'Old beggar with prayer wheel; ink no: 12; pencil no: C16/12, blue no: 24'; from an envelope marked 'Scenes from Regent's tour'. [KC 14/08/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Old beggar with prayer wheel'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 4: ‘15/1 - Beggar with beads and prayer wheel waiting beside circuit of Holy City’ [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.16' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Regent’s boat waiting for his departure, a mission picnic, the Potala, old beggar monk and Chinese lions at Trapchi. They seem to have been taken during the period October 6th - 17th 1936, although many were used to illustrate the Mission Diary for November 1936 [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Chapman wrote an unsympathetic description of beggars he encountered in the city of Lhasa in the book he wrote of his experiences as part of the British Mission in 1936-7 Lhasa the Holy City [London: Chatto & Windus, 1938; reprint, London: Readers Union Ltd., 1940]. He wrote of the beggars who frequented the Pargo Kaling gateway in the west of Lhasa: "Beside the gateway are always swarms of beggars sitting against the wall and, with obtruded tongues and upraised thumbs, whining for alms. Many of the beggars are strong and healthy and could easily work for their living, but in Lhasa begging is a privileged profession, and a beggar would consider it far beneath his dignity to accept any kind of work. Others are aged and loathsome, blind, crippled, and diseased. They just sit there all day, nodding in the sun, only waking up to start their thin whining as somebody rides by. Lhasa is full of such mendicants: any child will come and ask for money: any monk will surreptitiously hold out his hand" [1940, 1938]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Beggar in Lhasa with prayer wheel and rosary" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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