National Geographic Magazine/Volume 16/Number 1/Views of Lhasa

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VIEWS OF LHASA

THE pictures of Lhasa published in this number of the National Geographic Magazine are selected from a series of 50 Tibetan photographs which were recently presented to the National Geographic Society by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society of St Petersburg. The pictures were taken by the Buriat Tsybikoff and the Kalmuck Norzunoff on their recent semi-official expedition to Tibet. The notes given under the pictures are from Tsybikoff's narrative as published in the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution for 1903. Those desiring further information on the subject are referred to the above narrative and also to this Magazine, July, page 292, and May, page 228, 1904, and September, page 353, 1903.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - The Palace of the Dalai-Lama at Lhasa.jpg

The Palace of the Dalai-Lama at Lhasa

The Palace of the Dalai-Lama, Potala is about two-thirds of a mile west of the city, and built upon a rocky height. The foundation of the palace, tradition says, was laid by Srongzang Khan during the seventh century. The main central portion, called the "red palace," was added some time later. Ths palace and additions were planned to serve as a means of defense

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - Another View of the Palace of the Dalai Lama.jpg

Another View of the Palace of the Dalai Lama

The palace is about 1,400 feet long and about 70 feet high in front. In the construction of this palace the Tibetans displayed their highest architectural skill. Here are found the most precious treasures of Tibet, including the golden sepulchre of the fifth Dalai-Lama, which is about 28 feet high. The treasures and apartments of the Dalai-Lama are in the central portion of the temple palace. The remainder of the building serves as quarters for various attendants or followers of the Dalai-Lama, including a community of 500 monks, whose duty it is to pray for the welfare and long life of the Dalai-Lama

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - A View of the Palace of the Dalai-Lama from the West.jpg

A View of the Palace of the Dalai-Lama from the West

The unequal distribution of wealth and the subservience of poverty to wealth are conspicuous throughout Tibet. There is such little commerce that labor is very cheap, the most expert weaver of native cloth receiving about 8 cents and board per day, while an unskilled woman or man laborer earns only 2 or 3 cents. The highest salary is paid to the Lamas, the prayer readers, who receive 10 cents a day for incessant reading. A house servant almost never receives pay beyond food and meager clothes

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - A Street Scene in Lhasa.jpg

A Street Scene in Lhasa

The houses are of stone or unburnt brick, cemented with clay. The windows are without panes, or hung with cotton curtains, though in winter oiled native paper serves as protection from the cold. The houses have no chimneys. The principle fuel is dried manure of horned cattle and yaks

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - Palace of the Old King of Tibet, at Lhasa.jpg

Palace of the Old King of Tibet, at Lhasa

The clothing of a Tibetan is of special design, made from native cloth in various colors. The poor classes wear white, the cheapest color; the richer people red and dark red, the soldiers dark blue, and yellow is used by higher dignitaries and princes. Women prefer the dark red cloth. Of course, other colors are also met with. In proportion to their means, Tibetans dress rather elegantly. Their jewelry is of gold, silver, corals, diamonds, rubies, pearls, turquoise, and other stones.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - Buddhist Temple in the Center of Lhasa.jpg

Buddhist Temple in the Center of Lhasa

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - A View of Lhasa from a Neighboring Hill.jpg

A View of Lhasa from a Neighboring Hill

The building crowning the peak about the center of the picture is the monastery of Sera, which is famous in Tibet for its ascetics. The civilian population of Lhasa scarcely exceeds 10,000 persons, about two-thirds of them women, although the number may seem greater on account of the proximity of two large monasteries, the many transient visitors, and the gatherings of worshippers from (illegible text)

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - The Outskirts of Lhasa.jpg

The Outskirts of Lhasa

The orchards and trees in the outskirts of the city give the place a very beautiful appearance, especially in spring and summer, when the gilt roofs of the two principal temples glisten in the sun and the white walls of the many stoned buildings shine among the green tops of the trees; but the delight of the distant view at once vanishes upon entering the city with its crooked and dirty streets.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - On the Road which Circles Lhasa.jpg

On the Road which Circles Lhasa

The circular road along which the pious make their marches around Lhasa on foot or in prostrate bows is about 8 miles long. When these bows are faithfully performed the circle is completed in two days, making about 3,000 bows a day.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - Women from the Country on the Way to Market in Lhasa.jpg

Women from the Country on the Way to Market in Lhasa

The Tibetans seem to be inclined to joviality, which manifests itself in song and dance during their frequent public holidays. Women enjoy perfect freedom and independence and take an active part in business affairs, often managing extensive enterprises unaided.

The National Geographic Magazine Vol 16 1905 - A Farming Scene in Tibet.jpg

A Farming Scene in Tibet

Agriculture is the chief occupation of the settled population. Barley is the standard crop, from which the popular and harmless barley-wine is made; then comes wheat, for wheat flour; beans for oil, and peas, used by the poorer class in form of flour, or crushed for horses, mules, and asses. The field work is done principally by "dzo" (a cross breed of yak and ordinary cattle), yaks, and asses.