Tibetan Women in Sunday Attire


This photograph showing a group of Tibetan women dressed in Sunday attire is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. In Tibet (1890), W.W. Rockhill writes: “Married women part their hair in the middle and plait it like a rope on either side, bringing it together behind; the smaller the tresses, the more beautiful it is considered. Unmarried women wear another plait at the back of their heads. On the top of their tresses they wear strings of pearls (or beads) or coral, called dum-che, fastened to the hair by a silver hook. To the lower end of their tresses they attach strings, seven or eight inches long, of beads or coral, which hang on the shoulder; they are called do-shal.” The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, who visited Tibet in 1900 and 1901. Accompanying the photos is a set of notes written in Russian for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society by Tsybikov, Norzunov, and other Mongolians familiar with central Tibet. Alexander Grigoriev, corresponding member of the American Geographical Society, translated the notes from Russian into English in April 1904.

Last updated: March 22, 2016