2001.59.1.93.1 (Film negative)
Hugh E. Richardson
March 8th 1937
Lhasa > Meadow north of Potala
54 x 43 mm
Gesturing Hand , Greeting
Negative film nitrate
Donated August 2001
The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson
Hugh E. Richardson
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 - Notes on negative index - Folio 93. 'do.' [SOLDIERY SALUTE]. [KC 17/7/2006]
Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Hand List: 'Negative album No.1. ... The Rdzong-rgyab Zhabs-'bel This ceremony takes place on the 26th day of the 1st month (The Byams-pa gdan 'dren on 25th is in another neagative file). The Rdzong-rgyab Zhabs-'bel, "The Gallop at the back of the Fort" takes place on a sandy plain to the north of the Potala, near the Lha-klu house. It is the exercise for the rta-dmag , feudal cavalry. Nos. 78-90. The horsemen ride down a sandy track and fire at three targets set up at intervals along it; they use a musket at one target and bow and arrows at the others. At the end, the horsemen come in their different sections to salute the Kashag and receive a scarf and some money.' [KC 23/10/2006]
Other Information - The rta mag (cavalry) walking toward to the Kashag tent to offer salutation to the Kashag. [TS 9/2/2005]
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.57 "Compeitors in "The Gallop behind the Fort" salute the Tibetan Cabinet."
Other Information - Background: See Hugh E. Richardson, Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year , 1993. London: Serindia Publications. pp. 56-7. "The name of this ceremony, the Dzongggyap Shambe, is uncertain. The common version of the spelling is rDzong-rgyab Zhabs-'bel , 'The Gallop Behind the Fort"; but there is another, rDzong-rgyab g Zhar-'phen, apparently meaning "The shooting in Succession Behind the Fort". At all events what happens is a competition between men of the Yaso's cavalry in a display of markmanship at targets suspended beside a narrow runway in a meadow north of the Potala and south of the Lhalu mansion. Tents are pitched there for the Kashag and high officials and for foreign guests; lesser officials sit on rugs on the ground in order of precedence; places are allotted to boys of the Tse school, servants of government offices and the Dalai Lama's dancing boys; and a tent is set up for the cooks who provide the refreshments, in recognition perhaps that this has been an unusually busy month for them. After the arrival of the Kashag there are the usual formalities. The Yaso present scarves to the Kashag and submit lists of the competitors; and, of course, tea is served. Each squadron provided by the noble houses then takes part separately. One after the other the horsemen ride down the runway firing with a matchlock with antelope-horn prongs at the first target, then rapidly swinging the gun round their backs they grab the bow and take an arrow from their quiver ready for the next target. Some do not have time to draw the bow but simply thrust the arrow at the target. When all the men of the right wing have finished the course there is a pause. The Dalai Lama's dancing boys collect the arrows and bring a list of hits to the Labrang Chandzo - the Treasurers of the Jokhang. The competitors then come up by squadrons and rceive scarves of different quality according to their score. Then they perform a special Mongolian salute, raising their right hand, then bending their right knee and touching the ground with their hand. They return to their horses which have been left at some distance, with cries of Lhagyallo , "Victory to the gods!" (pp. 56-7) [KC 23/10/2006]
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. "Soldiers in ancient armour saluting, Dzonggyap Shambe" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_2001.59.1.93.1.html>.
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