|Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet, circa 1942.|
Richard Kenneth Saker Collection
HSFA image no. 2008_16op_064
Today also happens to be the Dalai Lama's 76th birthday. Although thousands of people gathered to pray for world peace is a pretty hard gift to top, I'd like to offer this small gesture in honor of His Holiness' birth: some highlights from the Human Studies Film Archives' collections of Tibet and the Tibetan people.
• Footage of the Dalai Lama's religious examination and investiture, filmed in Lhasa, Tibet in 1958-1959.
• Over 16 hours of research film footage from "Film Studies of Traditional Tibetan Life and Culture: Bylakuppe, South India, 1980", including a beautiful and dramatic chaam dance, as seen below. Many more hours of film were shot in other Tibetan communities in South India between 1979 and 1982.
|Photograph from Film Studies of Traditional|
Tibetan Life and Culture: Ladakh, India, 1978
HSFA image no. 86_13_3-66op_001
• Film and video taken at the first Kalachakra Initiation given in the United States, held in Deer Park, Wisconsin, in July 1981.
• And finally, a favorite here at the HSFA, the Richard Kenneth Saker Collection, comprised of over 400 photographs and 40 minutes of color 8mm film. As a British Trade Agent posted to Gyantse, Tibet, Saker traveled throughout the country between 1941 and 1943. In 1942, he documented Losar (the Tibetan New Year) festivities in Lhasa. We don't know for sure where and when the footage shown below was shot, but the people's fine dress suggests a celebration or important event, possibly Losar.