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No. 51. Amerapoora. Sekia Pagoda.

No. 51. Amerapoora. Sekia Pagoda.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(51)

Item number: 61151

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe with a general view looking towards the entrance of this elaborately carved temple at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. 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. Tripe wrote of this temple, 'This is the resort of Astrologers, (Brahmins, natives of India, or Manipore) who sit on the ground under the spacious colonnades of the Pagoda with mysterious looking scrolls and diagrams before them, quite ready to reward liberality after their own fashion'.

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