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"
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