The Torma at Lugong Gyalpo outside the Jokhang

The Torma at Lugong Gyalpo outside the Jokhang

2001. (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

30 April 1946?


Lhasa > Jokhang (main entrance from Doring house)

Accession number


Image Dimensions

58 x 55 mm

Monks bringing out a Torma (gtor ma), in which all evil inflences are stored, from the Jokhang during the Lugong gyalpo (glud 'gong rgyal po) ceremony held on the twenty ninth day of the second Tibetan month. The Torma is a pyramidal structure with fretwork wings surmounted by a grinning skull mask with a spear and a small umbrella on top. There is a crowd of onlookers on the the right hand side.

Further Information


Ritual Activity , Worshipping

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative album - '1' 'Chipsha: Dzonggyab [rdzong rgyab]: Torgyap [gtor rgyag] ----- [illegible]' is written in white in Richardson's hand. Notes inside negative album: white label with Richardson's name and address in St. Andrews. [KC 8/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio 54. 'THE GTOR MA'. [KC 17/7/2006][KC 21/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Hand List: Negative album No.1 nos. 53-58 "The gtor-ma (or zor ) is brought out, and carried southwards past the Jo-khang." [KC 21/7/2006]

Technical Information - This image seems to have been taken with a Zeiss Super Ikonta C camera. This was a 6x9 format camera but came with a film plane mask that enabled 6x4.5 images to be taken. This enabled 16 images to be taken on a roll of 120 film as opposed to 8 without the mask [MS 6/10/2005]

Research publication - Hugh E. Richardson,
Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year , 1993, London: Serindia Publications, p. 68. 'The torma'. [This image is used to illustrate the taking of the torma from the Jokhang to the place where it is destroyed during the ceremony of the 'Demon-Ransom King' (glud 'gong rgyal po) which took place on the 29th day of the second month. This is confimed by the caption written on the reverse of the print of this negative (2001., 'The Torma at the Lugong ceremony'. Richardson may not have had a good photograph of the Torma taken at the time of the Monlam Torgya so used this one taken during the Lugong gyalpo, instead. [KC 24/7/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: In a letter to his parents dated November 6th 1936, Hugh Richardson commented that he was investigating buying a new Zeiss Super Ikonta camera [Hugh Richardson Manuscript Archive, Bodleian Library, MS. Or. Richardson 3 folio 46]. On March 29th 1937 he comments in a further letter to his parents that it would probaby be better to use the larger image frame [MS Or Richardson 3 folio 82]. This has assisted the dating of this image to 1937 [MS 6/10/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "The Torma at Lugong Gyalpo outside the Jokhang" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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