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A Peon (Bombay).

A Peon (Bombay).

Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1870

Shelfmark: Photo 127/(71)

Item number: 71

Length: 8.3

Width: 5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Full-length standing carte-de-visite portrait of a peon, or messenger holding a letter, or note, one of a series of prints of ethnic types and occupations taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the early 1870s. The word ‘peon’ is derived from the Portuguese word peao; from pe, ‘foot’ and meaning a ‘footman’. It was originally used in the sense of a ‘foot-soldier’ and later as ‘orderly’ or messenger. It is still a commonly used term in India.

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