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Posted by R. John Howe on 10-12-2007 09:20 AM:

Textiles in the Former Residence of the Dalai Lama

Dear folks -

Someone who is on another list I frequent is currently traveling China and has sent some photos of various places they will visit.

One of these is the former home of the Dalai Lama. Here's the image he provides. Textiles abound.

Perhaps this will someday be an image parallel to Freud's consulting room.

There is no indication of which of the visible textiles is antique, but I expect some are.

Notice that there is a door or window rug on the far right with an actual valence.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 10-12-2007 09:24 AM:

Hi John

I love the overflowing pot of money in the foreground on the right. It's the biggest object in the photo (being closest to the camera - presumably it isn't actually bigger than the Dalai Lama himself).

Steve Price

Posted by R. John Howe on 10-12-2007 11:14 AM:

Yes, museums of most sorts seemed constantly strapped for money, and there are often offering containers prominently displayed.

The Textile Museum, here in Washington, DC has a large transparent box in its entry area that always has considerable money visible in it (I think to shame those who might pass by without contributing).

My guess is that this is what the intended function of this overflowing container in the photo is as well. (See? Almost everyone else has contributed.)

But it does draw the eye.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 10-12-2007 11:59 AM:

Hi John

I understand the realities of a museum: they really need the donations. I thought it odd that the lead photo for the article included the donations pot as the most prominent object. I'm sure it wouldn't require moving the camera more than a few feet to make it less conspicuous or out of the photo altogether. I doubt that the Textile Museum publicity blurbs start with a photo of the transparent donations box.

Steve Price

Posted by Unregistered on 10-12-2007 08:35 PM:


Pilgrims are extremely devoted to the Dalai Lama there. Their first prayer is 'may the Dalai Lama have a long life'

And they express their worship with offerings. Money is the commonest form of offering.

So in every room in the Potala Palace, and at every icon of the Lamas that they see, they offer notes. Usually these lie tucked away into a crevice in a statue or sitting at the feet or just strewn around. Some places have organised boxes.

Will send Steve some pictures later to post.

What I find surprising is that they have ANY picture at all of the inside of Potala on Wikipedia - as it was strictly forbidden ( by whom, I don't know) to click inside the palace. And I didn't take any out of deference to the rule.
Stupas of the previous Dalai Lamas are within this Palace as well and that makes this the most important and revered building. This 'no-photography' rule does not exist in most other places. But again - I have no idea whether it is the political or religious governance that forbids photography. But all this is besides the point !!!


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