The earliest known footage of Tibet
The earliest known footage of Tibet. It was shot by Captain John Noel in 1922 during the first attempt to reach the top of Mount Everest.
He filmed a scene at a monastery on the way to Everest where the climbers seek a blessing from the monks. They are treated as honoured guests and shown ritual dances telling stories of reincarnation.
Around the dancers’ waists are aprons made from a lattice of human bone; their face masks are made from stretched human skin.
The film comes from the archive of the Royal Geographical Society, which sponsored a series of remarkable expeditions in the early 20th Century.
26 May 2017
- From the section Science & Environment