Baboo Mitter of Calcutta.
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Head-and-shoulders carte-de-visite portrait of a Baboo from Calcutta, one of a series of prints of ethnic types and occupations taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the early 1870s. The word Baboo (Babu) was a term of respect originally used to describe the Bengali aristocracy in Calcutta in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Later it encompassed any person of distinction until finally it was used to describe Indian clerks who worked in British offices.