Yaso commanders in tent at Lubu Gardrik ceremony

Yaso commanders in tent at Lubu Gardrik ceremony

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

March 4th 1937

Named Person

George Tsarong?


Lhasa > Lubu

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 X 43 mm

Two Yaso commanders in ceremonial dress seated on throne-like seats with ornately carved and gilded wooden tables in front of them under a tent canopy. This photograph was taken at the 'Preparing the camp at Lubu' (klu sbug sgar sgrig) ceremony on a grassy meadow south of the Lingkor on the 22nd day of the First Tibetan month. On one of the tables there is a drinking vessel and bowls containing food. A group of attendents in ceremonial dress look on. One of the Yaso commanders, the one on the left, is wearing sunglasses and may be Dundul Namgyal (George) Tsarong.

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 - Folios 1 - 6. 'YA SOR AT KLU SBUG SGAR SGRIG'. [KC 31/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist - 'Vol. 5' Nos. 1 -7 'The Ya-sor, two noble offficials appointed annually to conduct various New Year ceremonies; see Album 1. They are formally appointed on the 22nd of the lst month and making their headquarters in a decorated tent on the Klu-sbug plain on the south of the Potala where they read the Kashag's order to them. Their retinue in very smartly dressed and they are served tea and chang by maids of honour. The photographs, in a rather dark tent, are not good but I know no others. The ceremony is known as Klu sbug sgar-sgrig, “setting up the camp at Klu sbug”. [KC 31/7/2006]

Other Information - Note that negatives sleeves 1 - 3 are inserted in the negative album in the order of: 3, 2, 1 (then 4, 5...) [CF 6/9/2002]

Other Information - Background: See Hugh Richardson, Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year , 1993, London: Serindia Publications, pp 31-33 for a description of this event. "Early on the twenty-second a beautifully decorated tent in a small enclosure is set up on a grassy meadow across a small branch of the Kyichu south of the Lingkor, where it passes the boudary of the Shuktrilingka south-east of the Potala. This is to be the headquarters of two noble officials who have been appointed with the Mongol title of Yaso as commanders of two wings of the ancient militia to leadthe military exercises of the next two days. ... they ride in state round the Barkor to Lubu where a crowd of their relations, friends and onlookers is waiting. The ceremony of the Lubu Gardrik ("Preparing the Camp at Lubu") follows. The Yaso take their seat on thrones with low, carved and painted wooden tables in front and their attendants line up on either side. The Yaso robes are of the most costly brocade embroidered with dragons on the front and back, and so heavey they can stand up by themselves. They wear large, round, flat hats with a fur brim and red silk crown with a vase-shaped gold and turquoise ornament and a coral button on top. The robe is girded by a wide gold belt and they wear a dagger, an embroidered purse and a silk covered cup case. ... The retinue is completed by a group of six ladies. Two are maids of honour, usually relations of the Yaso; two are servers of chang (barey beer) and are also of noble rank. These four are dressed in fine brocade with tthe traditional striped apron, and a lavish display of ornaments of turquise, pearls, coral and amber. Their horn-shaped headdresses are decorated with large balls of coral. The other two are household servants and are less richly dressed." (p.31) [KC 31/7/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: Two of the images in this batch of three that have related contact prints have date queries written upon them ('1939?' and '1937?'). However, the Yaso seated in the picture seem to have been those that in other images in Richardson's negative folder 5 can be dated to 1937 and similarly have a 510 batch reference number. As this role changed every year, 1937 seems the most probable date for these images, too. Also, Richardson seems to have stopped using 6x4.5 sized images by 1939, changing back to 6x9 images using his Zeiss Super Ikonta camera quite shortly after the Mission under sir Basil Gould left [MS 19/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Yaso commanders in tent at Lubu Gardrik ceremony" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_2001.>.

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