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Tongsa Penlop's sister's family [Trongsa, Bhutan]

Tongsa Penlop's sister's family [Trongsa, Bhutan]

Photographer: White, John Claude

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1905

Shelfmark: Photo 20/(37)

Item number: 37

Length: 18.4

Width: 30.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Tongsa Penlop (Governor), Ugyen Wangchuk, together with his sister and her family at Tongsa (Trongsa) in Bhutan, taken by John Claude White in 1905. This group portrait, with the family gathered on the entrance steps to a house, is one of a set of photographs documenting White's mission to Bhutan to invest the Penlop with the order of Knight Commander of the Indian Empire. This photograph was reproduced in The National Geographic Magazine (Apr 1914), with the following caption: 'The Royal Family of Bhutan. On the top step stands the king, not in his robes of state but in the comfortable attire of private life [this photograph was taken before Ugyen Wangchuk became king in 1907]. Beside him are his sister and her two daughters, and on the right one of his nephews. The three girls in front are serving maids who wear the modern costume of their class'. Bhutanese textiles are intricately hand-woven with many bright colors. The male dress is the robe-like gho worn at knee length, and the women wear the ankle length kira.

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