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Bod
November 10, 2008 6:06 PM   Subscribe

The Tibet Album: British photography in Central Tibet 1920 - 1950 [previously] via The Best of The Asian Studies WWW Monitor

The site isn't just photographs, there's lots of other information too:

Tsarong in 'At Home' ceremony, New Year
Dasang Damdul Tsarong was a favourite of the 13th Dalai Lama, a military man and later a shappe (cabinet minister in the Tibetan government) until he was removed from office as a result of his modernising policies. He was a great friend of the British Mission frequently inviting them to his house and accompanying them on their various visits around Lhasa. He was considered by the mission to be a great character, as Gould recalled “Once, after a long and festive party at the De Kyi Lingka, he fell asleep in my arms murmuring, “Great minister, I love you, I love you”. At breakfast next morning he had his usual bright eye and was quite unperturbed. He spoke a little English. To him it seemed strange that anybody in India should not welcome British rule”. (1957:236) He had four wives (including Rigzin Choden, Pema Dolkar, Rinchen Dolma (later Mary Taring) and Tseten Dolkar) and ten children. Although he was in India in 1956 he insisted on going back to Tibet to help the Dalai Lama to escape into exile. He was captured by the Chinese and in 1959 died mysteriously the night before what was due to be his public humiliation.
Ragyapa family outside tent shelter
"On the left of the road are the hovels of the lowest class of Lhasa society, the ra-gyap-pa, a community of scavenging beggars whose work is to dispose of the dead bodies. ... // Their dwellings consist of a wall of sods into which are built the horns of animals; over the top is raised a roof of ragged yak-hair tent-cloth. This is often surrounded by an outer wall of the horns of yaks, cattle and sheep heaped together. In the summer their hovels are gay with nasturtiums and marigolds. ... But these are the lowest of the Ra-gyap-pa. Further on, though they must still live outside the city, they have proper houses, built of sun-dried bricks, but still with neat rows of yak horns let into the face of the wall, like a mosaic"
posted by tellurian (15 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
What a wonderful subject and resource. What an awful interface.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:19 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, honestly, this is fascinating stuff, and very captivating photos, but the interface is such total garbage, it almost isn't worth it.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:37 PM on November 10, 2008


Color (!) film from Tibet in the early 1940s, when the guy from Seven Years from Tibet was still there, pre-Chinese invasion. The last days.
posted by stbalbach at 6:40 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Recent photos my travel companion took.
posted by gman at 6:51 PM on November 10, 2008


My comment when I hit this site was..."isn't the Internet a wonderful tool"...

Thanks for this post..

Yes, the interface is a bit difficult, but, compared to what it would have been years ago...the interface is not a critical point...
posted by HuronBob at 7:39 PM on November 10, 2008


National Geographic has footage from the 1938 German expedition to Tibet. There's a snippet on youtube.
posted by shetterly at 8:15 PM on November 10, 2008


And it looks like complete versions of a documentary about the 1938 expedition start here on aol and here on youtube.
posted by shetterly at 8:22 PM on November 10, 2008


when the guy from Seven Years from Tibet was still there

Brad Pitt?
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:11 AM on November 11, 2008


Thanks for the link. I'm very fond of pictures of the Potala Palace, which I think is one of the great architectural symbols of transcendence. (Look at this famous photo if you don't know what I mean). There are many pictures of the Palace, but from a standpoint of historical continuity it's nice to see some of the older ones.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:31 AM on November 11, 2008


What an awful interface.
Yeah, it looks like David Harris was a little lazy and just repopulated the data, reusing (with a few tweaks) his design for his Southern Sudan project.
posted by tellurian at 2:19 AM on November 12, 2008


Did Britain Just Sell Tibet?
posted by homunculus at 12:36 AM on November 26, 2008


homunculus, you are the king of the long tail. To address your comment though "Mr. Miliband said that Britain had decided to recognize Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China. He even apologized that Britain had not done so earlier." - says it all. You have been indefatigable but face it, it's a lost cause now. All you are doing is logging its demise.
posted by tellurian at 4:44 AM on November 26, 2008


You know, I did a little traveling around some of the hinterland of Tibet and I've got to say that it doesn't look like it has changed all that much out there. I'm not sure if that is wonderfully refreshing and charming or horribly frightening as to the lack of development and stark isolation that rural Tibet has been subjected to, my thinking is that the answer is somewhere between the two.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:03 AM on November 26, 2008


All you are doing is logging its demise.
After spending a little time thinking about what I wrote there and how it might be interpreted can I please qualify it. I didn't mean to imply that it is a wasted effort on your part, far from it, you have provide a valuable and instructive timeline. I appreciate to a huge degree your links to information and articles.
posted by tellurian at 5:29 AM on November 26, 2008


You have been indefatigable but face it, it's a lost cause now.

It was a lost cause when the Chinese invaded. I've never been optimistic about Tibetan liberation.

I appreciate to a huge degree your links to information and articles.

Then I will keep posting them!

you are the king of the long tail.

How did you know I have a tail?
posted by homunculus at 1:51 PM on November 26, 2008


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