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Tongsa Jong as seen from above [Tongsa Dzong, Bhutan]

Tongsa Jong as seen from above [Tongsa Dzong, Bhutan]

Photographer: White, John Claude

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1905

Shelfmark: Photo 20/(22)

Item number: 22

Length: 23.7

Width: 28.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Trongsa Dzong (fortress) taken by John Claude White in Bhutan in 1905. This image also appears in The National Geographic Magazine (Apr 1914), with the following caption: 'General view of Tongsa Jong. The flooded rice field on the right-hand corner is the scene of the ceremony of blessing the rice, where the sham fight between the men and women took place'. White described the mock battle in his article, 'Suddenly the men sprang up, throwing off their outer garments; this was the signal for the women to rush to the inundated field and to commence throwing clods of earth and splashes of muddy water on the men below as they tried to climb up. Then followed a wild and mad, though always good-natured, struggle between the men and the women in the water, the men doing their utmost to take possession of the watery field and the women equally determined to keep them out.' The women finally won the contest and, 'This was looked on as a very propitious ending, as the victory of the women portends, during the coming season, fertility of the soil and increase among the flocks and herds.' This is one of a set of photographs documenting White's mission to Bhutan to invest Ugyen Wangchuk, the Penlop (Governor) of Tongsa in Central Bhutan, with the order of Knight Commander of the Indian Empire. White was at this time the Political Officer in Sikkim.

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