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Unidentified group, Eastern Bengal. 47

Unidentified group, Eastern Bengal. 47

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 124/(47)

Item number: 47

Length: 19.8

Width: 15.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Group portrait, taken in Bangladesh in the early 1860s, of men of an unidentified caste. They are posed posed among piles of straw of some kind, and this presumably indicates membership of one of the cultivator castes. Behind them is the photographer's temporary studio composed of woven panels, with a sheet of muslin draped beneath the skylight to diffuse the light. In the 19th century the British Government sought to acquire information about the diverse races, customs, costumes and occupations of the sub-continent. The rising science of ethnology created a demand among European audiences for ‘exotic’ souvenirs of the East. This print is from a collection which features groups and individuals from across Eastern Bengal (modern Bangladesh and Assam), however the photographs were taken in and around the same temporary studio built onto the side of a European house.

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