Yaks carrying firewood in Lhasa Valley

Yaks carrying firewood in Lhasa Valley

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

January 1937


Lhasa Area

Accession number


Yaks carrying firewood. A man wearing a Khampa-style sheepskin coat can be seen on the far right of the image. There are low hills in the background and trees are dotted at intervals across the landscape

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

7.10 [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 - "7-10" and "F. S. Chapman" are written on the back of the print in pencil. The number relates to the system for recording images that Chapman used during his time on the Gould Mission to Lhasa in 1936-37 [MS 17/1/2005]

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]: 'Yaks and Kamba' [MS 13/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: The reference '7-9' helps to identify this as an image that was probably taken during January 1937. Images prefixed with this figure comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Potala, yaks and donkeys [MS 13/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Chapman wrote the following in relation to this image in the Mission Diary for the period January 15th - 31st 1937: "Now that there is no grazing to tempt the pack-animals to dally by the way, and no rain to spoil their loads, there is much traffic on the trade routes. Any day you can see trains of mules, donkeys and yaks carrying the rough Tibetan wool down to India; and, approaching the city, loads of brick tea sewn in compact square packages, bundles of dried yak-dung for fuel, and striped yak hair bags of barley flour, which with the salt buttery Tibetan tea forms the staple diet of all the poorer classes." [MS 12/3/2005]

Other Information - Cultural Background

Other Information - Cultural Background: This man is likely to be a local villager or a caravan member who has responsibility for collecting or gathering firewood. Firewood is very scarce in most parts of Tibet and one must therefore travel far to collect it and, as a result, it cannot easily be either collected or transported by hand. This man is wearing a Khampa-style sheepskin coat but this one has not been elaborated with fur borders etc. as one might see amongst wealthier people [see 1998.131.196 for a man wearing an elaborated design]. [TS 20/1/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Yaks carrying firewood in Lhasa Valley" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_BMR.>.

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