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No. 40. Amerapoora. Barracks of the Burmese Guard.

No. 40. Amerapoora. Barracks of the Burmese Guard.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(40)

Item number: 61140

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, of a view looking along the thatched huts running along the outer wall that served as barracks for the Burmese guard of honour to the British mission staying at the Residency at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar). Tripe wrote, 'Their arms are tied to the racks, their bandolier-like belts, and red or green lacquered tin chacoes (nearly a wide-awake in shape) hang above. At intervals are the javelins of the sub-officers. Between the trees Amerapoora can be seen across the lake.' 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. Amarapura, on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river, was twice the capital of the Burmese kings of the Konbaung dynasty: from 1782 (the year of its foundation by King Bodawpaya) to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1860, after which Mandalay, 11 km to the north, became capital. Amarapura was the site of the first British Embassy to Burma in 1795, and played host again to Tripe's Mission.

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