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No. 114. Rangoon. The Votive Tree.

No. 114. Rangoon. The Votive Tree.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(114)

Item number: 611114

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe, from a portfolio of 120 prints, of a votive tree festooned with prayer pennants at Rangoon (Yangon) in Burma (Myanmar). Tripe wrote of this image probably taken in the precincts of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, 'Offerings of muslin are suspended from this in honor of Gautama; some even have prayers written on them in the idea that every breeze would waft their petitions to Gautama'. The Second Anglo-Burmese war of 1852 ended with the British annexation of Pegu. Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of British India was instructed by the East India Company to require the Burmese king Mindon Min to sign a treaty recognising the annexation. Diplomatic overtures commenced in 1855 by means of a mission headed by Arthur Phayre, the newly-appointed Commisssioner of Pegu province, and Henry Yule, an officer in the Public Works Department was appointed Secretary to the mission. Besides the diplomatic objective, the mission was expected to obtain detailed information about Upper Burma. Linnaeus Tripe was appointed official photographer to the mission. Tripe, who specialised in architectural and topographical views, took pioneering photographs of Burma, which besides being aesthetically fine formed a vital record of the country.

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