Kush-Beggi (Minister of the Interior). Bukhara


Between 1785 and 1920, eight emirs of the Manghit dynasty ruled Buhkara (in present-day Uzbekistan). After the Russian occupation of Samarkand (1868), the Emirate of Bukhara became a Russian protectorate. Seen here is Djanmirza-kushbegi, the emir’s kushbegi (plenipotentiary) from 1910–20. In this position the kushbegi implemented the emir’s will in all areas of government, including in the interior ministry, as noted in the caption. The kushbegi wears a splendid silk robe decorated with Russian orders and a red sash. In his lap he holds a ceremonial saber with gilded scabbard. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire. Prokudin-Gorskii was interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan, which he visited on a number of occasions, including trips in 1907 and 1911 to the ancient city of Bukhara. Prokudin-Gorskii was granted permission to photograph the rulers of the Buhkara, including the emir himself.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Куш-Бегги (Министр внутренних дел). Бухара

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: September 30, 2016