Darwesh (Chishtia), Eastern Bengal.
Medium: Photographic print
Portrait of a religious mendicant from Bangladesh by an unknown photographer, early 1860s. It shows a dervish of the Sufi Chishti order. Sufis are devotees of the mystical branch of Islam. In this case the man is a follower of the Indian saint Muin-u'd-din Chishti, whose shrine in Ajmer remains a popular pilgrimage centre today. This print is one of a series of portrait studies of individuals and groups from Eastern Bengal (modern Bangladesh and Assam). It is possible that they were taken in response to the Government of India's call for photographs representing various ethnic types from across the sub-continent.