Crowds around Sho pillar near Potala at Sertreng

Crowds around Sho pillar near Potala at Sertreng

2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

Feb-March 1949


Lhasa > Sho

Accession number


Image Dimensions

57 X 55 mm

Crowds at the Sertreng ceremony (tshogs mchod ser spreng) on the 30th day of the 2nd Tibetan month standing around the Sho pillar. The banners have images of the Buddha surrounded by deities and bodhisattvas. The Shol pillar can be seen in the foreground surrounded by onlookers watching the procession. Some monks holding hand held drums are processing.

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 44. [blank] [KC 31/7/2006]

: The Potala Palace

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist - 'Vol. 5' 'Nos. 34-7. The Tshogs-mchod Gser-'phreng. In the second month there is a lesser prayer assembly from the 19th to the 29th. On the 29th there is a Scapegoat Ceremony (in another album) and on the 30th a day-long procession takes place round the Potala. In the morning monks from several monasteries, smartly dressed and well washed go to the Jo-khang where they receive a great variety of precious and sacred objects to carryin the procession. A large number of tall banners are carried in front; the objects include shrines, images, musical instruments and so on. The procession enters the courtyard at the foot of the Potala where various ceremonies take place. As the procession starts two huge appleque banners (gos-sku) are hung on the face of the Potala. They are drawn up from the ground by a team of monks on a ramp of the Potala. The ceremonies include several different dances, the appearance of the Gnas-chung Oracle, etc. There are other photographs of the Ser 'phreng in Album A.' [KC 12/8/2006]

Other Information - Background: Richardson describes the Sertreng ceremony in Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year, 1993, London, Serindia Publications, pp. 74-81. " ... a spectacular ceremony, the Sertreng, in which hundreds of participants marched round the Potala with banners, religious objects and music. ... the Koku - "The Silk Image" - a great appliqué banner which covers the lower face of he Potala for a space of some 75 by 40 feet. It consists of two panels, one rather larger than the other; in the centre of which is a huge figure of the Buddha surrounded by many deities and bodhisattvas. The priviledge of hauling it up is enjoyed by the monks of the Pempora college of Drepung. ..." [KC 12/8/2006]

Other Information - History: For a description of the Sho pillar see Richardson,
A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions , James G. Forlong Series, No. xxix, Royal Asiatic Society, 1985, pp. 1-25.

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Crowds around Sho pillar near Potala at Sertreng" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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