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Burmese girl

Burmese girl

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 15/6(42)

Item number: 15642

Length: 24

Width: 21

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a Burmese girl, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. This is a full-length studio portrait, showing the girl posed seated on a chair against a plain backdrop. She wears a striped hta-mein (wrap-around skirt) and a close-fitting jacket of fine muslin or cotton known as an ein-gyi. In her hair she wears a floral headband and she is adorned with necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. During the Konbaung Dynasty (1752-1885), rich jewellery, fine fabrics such as silk and garments such as her jacket were reserved for court officials and their wives by sumptuary laws. After the fall of the Burmese monarchy they were worn by the wealthy. Western observers noted the relative freedom, grace and confidence of Burmese women. The photograph is from an album devoted almost entirely to Lord Elgin's Burma tour of November to December 1898. Victor Alexander Bruce (1849-1917), ninth Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, served as Viceroy of India between 1894 and 1899.

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