Paloung woman [Burma]
Photographer: Beato, Felice (1825-c.1907)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a Palaung woman taken in Burma (Myanmar) by Felice Beato in c.1890. The photograph credited to Beato on the basis of the studio backdrop painted with a woodland scene, which occurs in several of his photographs. This is a full-length studio portrait of the woman, who wears traditional Palaung dress, brightly coloured in reality, and holds a long cheroot in her left hand. The Palaung are one of over 30 tribal groups in Burma and inhabit the Kalaw area in Shan State where they are famous for growing tea. They are descended from Mon-Khmer stock, the Mons being one of the eight ‘national races’ now recognised by the government. The photograph is from an album devoted almost entirely to Lord Elgin's Burma tour of November to December 1898. Victor Alexander Bruce (1849-1917), ninth Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, served as Viceroy of India between 1894 and 1899.