Click here to skip to content

Gurmah, Khunsa, or Hijra, reputed hermaphrodite, Eastern Bengal.

Gurmah, Khunsa, or Hijra, reputed hermaphrodite, Eastern Bengal.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 124/(38)

Item number: 38

Length: 22.2

Width: 17

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Portrait of a reputed hermaphrodite and companions taken by an unknown photographer in the early 1860s. Hermaphrodites, also known today in South Asia as 'hijra', are often followers of the Hindu goddess Bahuchara Mata. In the 19th century the British Government sought to acquire information about the diverse races, customs, costumes and occupations of the sub-continent. The rising science of ethnology created a demand among European audiences for ‘exotic’ souvenirs of the East. This print is from a collection which features groups and individuals from across Eastern Bengal (modern Bangladesh and Assam), however the photographs were taken in and around the same temporary studio which can be seen in the background here.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: