Chopa sited on the south west corner of Jokhang

Chopa sited on the south west corner of Jokhang

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

February 25th 1937


Lhasa > Barkhor (west side of Jokhang from Ragashar house) >

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 X 43 mm

Chopa (mchod pa), Torma-shaped ornate butter offerings, erected on the Barkhor during Chonga Chopa (bco lnga mchod pa) on the 15th of 1st Tibetan month. The building on the right with the roof decorations is the Jokhang and the chopa furthest on the right is in front of the Shingra gate.

Further Information


Ritual Activity

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 - '5' 'Yaso. Serpang. Byamspa gdan dren. Taarpa gling Oracle, lhosar [?] ceremonies. Jo mo lhari, Phari' is written on the negative album in white in Richardson's hand. [KC 31/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio 14. 'do' [BUTTER MCHOD PA]. [KC 31/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist - 'Vol. 5' Nos. 12-15. 'On the evening of the 15th of the 1st month, monks from various monasteries, and also government offices erect huge frames of wicker and wood covered with leather on which they make elaborate designs in coloured butter; there are all sorts of scenes such as an oracle giving prophecies, the model of a monastery, flowers and so on. After nightfall the Dalai Lama and high officials go the round of the mchod-pa, as they are called, and give prizes to the best. After that the Lhasa populace swarm round the Bar-skor, the roads round the Jo-khang where the mchod-pa are set up. This is the first time they can enjoy themselves after a fortnight of enforced quiet during the Smon-lam prayers. The ceremony is called Bco-lnga Mchod-pa "Mchod-pa of the 15th”.' [KC 1/8/2006]

Other Information - Background: See Hugh Richardson,
Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year , 1993, London: Serindia Publications, pp. 27-30 for a description of this event. "In the evening [of the 15th day of the 1st Tibetan month] there is a spectacular festival known as the Chonga Chopa [ bco lnga mchod pa ], the "Offerings of the Fifteenth". All afternoon monks and servants of the government, the great monasteries and noble houses have been busy around the Barkor, erecting tall wooden scaffoldings often higher than the roof of the Tsuklakhang and neighbouring houses. On these they fix pyramidal leather frames covered with elaborate decorations in coloured butter - deities, lamas, demons, lions, dragons, garudas, auspicious signs, flowers and more besides. Some of them incorporate moveable figures; an oracle being the most popular. The shape of these huge chopas resemble that of the torma , cake-offerings made of dough and butter or of painted wood seen on most altars. The ingenuity and skill in the craftsmanship is remarkable and there is keen competition to produce the best chopa ." (p.27) [KC 1/8/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Chopa sited on the south west corner of Jokhang" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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