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No. 34. Tsagain Myo [Sagaing]. View near the River.

No. 34. Tsagain Myo [Sagaing]. View near the River.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(34)

Item number: 61134

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe of a view at Sagaing in Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. The view is on the bank of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady), looking towards a building raised on piles over the water. Tripe wrote in the accompanying letterpress, 'The Irrawadi at the time of the freshes, inundates the country from some distance from its banks; the necessity therefore of building on piles, as above seen is very evident'. Tripe, an officer from the Madras Infantry, was the official photographer attached to a British diplomatic mission to King Mindon Min of Burma in 1855. This followed the British annexation of Pegu after the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. Aside from official duties, the mission was instructed to gather information regarding the country and its people. Tripe's architectural and topographical views are of great documentary importance as they are among the earliest surviving photographs of Burma. Sagaing became capital of an independent Shan kingdom in 1315, after the fall of Bagan (Pagan) had thrown Burma into chaos. After a few decades, the Shan king shifted to Ava (Inwa) and Sagaing then declined in political importance, only briefly reverting to the capital of the Burman Konbaung dynasty under King Naungdawgyi in the 1760s. It became known more as a religious centre, supporting thousands of monks and nuns. Today, people from all over the country come to Sagaing to meditate and it is known as 'Little Bagan' because of the multitudes of temples and monasteries here.

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