Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Tibetan women at Darjeeling in the modern state of West Bengal, taken by Bourne and Shepherd sometime in the 1860s or 70s. The Tibetan people originate from a number of ethnic groups. They are mostly nomads tending herds of yak, goats and sheep and for their religion mostly practise Tibetan Buddhism mixed with local shamanism. The women in the image are wearing heavy woollen clothing to protect themselves from the cold with traditional jewellery of earrings, necklaces and ornaments. Jewellery is worn by all Tibetans partly as a symbol of wealth and delight in decoration but also as amulets for protection, as in the case of pieces of turquoise.