Thibetan [Tibetan] Woman, Darjeeling

Thibetan [Tibetan] Woman, Darjeeling

ca. 1905
13.80x
8.85cm

Clare Harris in her book Photography and Tibet (Reaktion Books, 2016) writes of this postcard, "a portrait of a young woman that features prominently in The Buddhism of Tibet as a generic illustration of Tibetan femininity implies that she'd been photographed in Tibet. In fact the woman whose name was Lhamo was born in Darjeeling but dressed, as Waddell records, ;a la mode' of Lhasa. This is revealed in an album created by Waddell in which Lhamo's portrait is just one of a set of images that had been produced in the Johnston & Hoffmann studio" (p. 38).

Clare Harris book is full of decodings of place and person, showing just how complicated a subject photography was from the very beginning in posing these representations of geographic types.