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The Irrawaddy River

The Irrawaddy River

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 15/6(50)

Item number: 15650

Length: 15.3

Width: 20.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Irrawaddy River in Burma, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. The Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) is the great river of Burma and flows south for 2000 km from its source in the mountainous north of the country to the

Andaman Sea. From its confluence formed by two rivers near Myitkyina it travels through a series of defiles to a vast delta region along the Gulf of Martaban (Mottama) in southern Burma. Boat travel along the Irrawaddy has traditionally been an important means of transport and in the late 19th century the river was plied by paddy boats taking rice down to Rangoon (Yangon), steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, and rafts of teak logs being floated down to timber yards. This is a view looking along the river at an unidentified location. The photograph is from an album devoted almost entirely to Lord Elgin’s Burma tour of November toDecember 1898. Victor Alexander Bruce (1849-1917), ninth Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, served as Viceroy of India between 1894 and 1899.

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