Chikyak Khenpo

Chikyak Khenpo

BMR. (Album Print black & white)

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Other Version of this Photo in Frederick Spencer Chapman collection

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Image in Album

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Hugh E. Richardson

Date of Photo

October 27th 1936


Lhasa > Chikyak Khenpo's House

Accession number


The Lord Chamberlain or Chikyak Khenpo, head of Ecclesiastical party. Also chief official of the Dalai Lama's household and in charge of the upkeep of the Potala and all the royal parks. He is wearing brocade silk garment under his monk's robes and has an elaborately brocaded water bottle. He is standing in front of the house where he hosted the Mission for lunch which was formerly the residence of the Dalai Lama's favourite Kumpa La

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Donated to the British Museum in 1986 by Hugh E. Richardson

Previous Catologue Number

C.5.1 [view film roll]

Related Collections

F. S. Chapman Collection in the Pitt Rivers Museum

This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - 'Chikyap Khempo' has been written beneath the image in the album in pencil, apparently not by Hugh Richardson [MS 12/06/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Chikyak Khempo [ Chikyak Kempo]'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 2: ‘32/1 - the Lord Chamberlain (chikyap Kempo) head of the ecclesiastical organization of Tibet and responsible for the upkeep of the Potala and the Lhasa parks’ [MS 27/03/2006]

Biographical Information - The Lord Chamberlain of Tibet (the Chigyak Khenpo) was head of the ecclesiastical party in the Tibetan government. He was the official in charge of the Dalai Lama’s household, responsible for the upkeep of the Potala Palace and all the royal parks in Lhasa. Spencer Chapman describes him as “a frail and courteous old man who suffers from rheumatism and over-work”. (['Lhasa: The Holy City', F. Spencer Chapman, London: Chatto & Windus, 1938, p. 78) [CH 2003]

Other Information - Album: This image appears alongside two others of Bhondong Shappe and Yapshi Phunkang Kung on page 25 of Hugh Richardson's album 'Lhasa 1936' [MS 12/06/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: See 1998.131.451 for a full view of the facade of this house [MS 27/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Mission Diary entry for October 27th 1936: "We all lunched with the Chikyab Khempo, a mild and courteous white haired monk who is the head of the Ecclesiastical party. (A copy of the bill of fare is attached to this diary). // After this party several of us rode down to the bazaar with the ostensible intention of photographing the roofs of Lhasa. Actually our wireless experts wanted to see the Chinese aerial so that they could guess on what wave-length it worked" ['Lhasa Mission, 1936: Diary of Events', Part VIII p.3, written by Chapman] [MS 24/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.5.' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Chikyak Khenpo, the house where the Mission met him for lunch, and views of Lhasa city, all of which seem to have been taken on October 27th 1936 [MS 27/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Chikyak Khenpo" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <>.

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