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When 4-year-old child was recognized for the throne of Tibet as the fourteenth Dalai Lama, 1944

During the summer of 1939, Archibald Trojan Steele, an American foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News living in China, traveled to the Kumbum Monastery to observe the child from Amdo, who was being examined for signs that could prove his claim to Tibet as the fourteenth Dalai Lama, at Kumbum Monastery in Northern Tibet. Arch was granted a passport to Lhasa in 1944 to visit the now-enthroned fourteenth Dalai Lama, who was nine years old at the time.

During his travels to Lhasa in 1939 and 1944, Steele took these photographs; they were later donated to the Center for Asian Studies at Arizona State University.

#1 The Dalai Lama, 1944

The Dalai Lama, 1944

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#2 The Dalai Lama, 1944

The Dalai Lama, 1944

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#3 The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

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#4 The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

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#5 The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

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#6 The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

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#7 The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

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#8 The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

The Potala, Lhasa, 1944

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#9 The State Oracle of Tibet With A. T. Steele, Lhasa, 1944

The State Oracle of Tibet With A. T. Steele, Lhasa, 1944

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#10 The State Oracle of Tibet With A. T. Steele, Lhasa, 1944

The State Oracle of Tibet With A. T. Steele, Lhasa, 1944

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#11 The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

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#12 The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

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#13 The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

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#14 The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

The Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old at Kumbum Monastery, 1939

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#15 The Dalai Lama’s Family: 1939, 1944

The Dalai Lama's Family: 1939, 1944

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#16 A Tibetan Monk, 1944. A Tibetan monk on pilgrimage. He carries a spear.

A Tibetan Monk, 1944. A Tibetan monk on pilgrimage. He carries a spear.

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#17 The Dalai Lama’s Family: 1939, 1944

The Dalai Lama's Family: 1939, 1944

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#18 Archway of Stones and Prayer Flags Over the Pass of Kharo-la, 1944. Archway of stones and prayer flags over the 16,400 foot pass of Kharo-la, on road to Lhasa.

Archway of Stones and Prayer Flags Over the Pass of Kharo-la, 1944. Archway of stones and prayer flags over the 16,400 foot pass of Kharo-la, on road to Lhasa.

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#19 Part of a Small Machine for Pressing Mustard Seeds, 1944

Part of a Small Machine for Pressing Mustard Seeds, 1944

There is not much machinery in Tibet, and when it is brought in, it has to be carried over the passes, in pieces. Here is a part of a small machine for pressing mustard seeds (for oil). The inevitable prayer flag adorns the load.

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#20 A Caravan Crossing the Nyapso-la, 1944. A caravan crossing the Nyapso-la (pass) on route to China (Central Tibet).

A Caravan Crossing the Nyapso-la, 1944. A caravan crossing the Nyapso-la (pass) on route to China (Central Tibet).

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#21 The Yamdrok Lake, 1944. The Yamdrok Lake (more than 14,000 feet above sea level), with the castled town of Pedi on its shore.

The Yamdrok Lake, 1944. The Yamdrok Lake (more than 14,000 feet above sea level), with the castled town of Pedi on its shore.

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#22 Tibetan Servant Pa-sang, 1944. My Tibetan servant Pa-sang (“Friday”), with friends.

Tibetan Servant Pa-sang, 1944. My Tibetan servant Pa-sang ("Friday"), with friends.

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#23 A Street in Phari, Tibet, 1944. A street in Phari, Tibet, sometimes called the “highest, windiest, dirtiest city in the world”.

A Street in Phari, Tibet, 1944. A street in Phari, Tibet, sometimes called the "highest, windiest, dirtiest city in the world".

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#24 The Courtyard of a Tibetan House, 1944. In the courtyard of a Tibetan house, as seen from my window.

The Courtyard of a Tibetan House, 1944. In the courtyard of a Tibetan house, as seen from my window.

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#25 The Fort of Nangartse, 1944. The fort of Nangartse, on the trail to Lhasa in central Tibet.

The Fort of Nangartse, 1944. The fort of Nangartse, on the trail to Lhasa in central Tibet.

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#26 The State Oracle of Tibet With A.T. Steele, 1944.

The State Oracle of Tibet With A.T. Steele, 1944.

The state Oracle of Tibet with A.T. Steele of the Chicago Daily News. The Oracle occasionally goes into a trance and in that state, makes predictions, but in this picture he is at ease.

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#27 A Pilgrim Passing Along the Sacred Way, 1944

A Pilgrim Passing Along the Sacred Way, 1944

A pilgrim passing along the Sacred Way, around the Potala at Lhasa. Note that the path is lined with carved stone and other religious objects.

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#28 Nepalese Porters With Supplies for China, 1944

Nepalese Porters With Supplies for China, 1944

Nepalese porters with supplies for China, near the summit of Natu pass, at the frontier of India and Tibet.

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#29 Inside the Drepung Monastery, 1944

Inside the Drepung Monastery, 1944

Inside the Drepung monastery (largest in world) Giant monks, carrying big bronze shafts of authority, walk ahead through the streets to clear the way for visitors

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#30 Drepung Monastery, 1944

Drepung Monastery, 1944

Drepung Monastery, outside Lhasa, the biggest monastery in the world. (10,000 monks)

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#31 Tibetan Soldiers, Color-Bearers, 1944

Tibetan Soldiers, Color-Bearers, 1944

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#32 A Tibetan Soldier Dressed For Review, 1944

A Tibetan Soldier Dressed For Review, 1944

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#33 Buddhist Monks Trumpet the Call to Prayers, 1944

Buddhist Monks Trumpet the Call to Prayers, 1944

Buddhist monks trumpet the call to prayers at the Temple of Medicine overlooking Lhasa. Potala is in the background.

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#34 Gateway to Lhasa, 1944

Gateway to Lhasa, 1944

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#35 Buddhist Monument, Chorten, 1944. Buddhist monument, chorten, with Potala in the background.

Buddhist Monument, Chorten, 1944. Buddhist monument, chorten, with Potala in the background.

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#36 A Yak and Its Tibetan Owner, 1944

A Yak and Its Tibetan Owner, 1944

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#37 Tibetan Beggars, 1944

Tibetan Beggars, 1944

Tibetan beggars sitting in wait for pilgrims, beside the Sacred Way around the Potala at Lhasa. The wall of their tent, behind them, is built entirely of sheep horns.

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#38 Devout Pilgrim, 1944

Devout Pilgrim, 1944

Devout pilgrim, prostrating his way around the sacred walk around the Dalai Lama's winter palace (the Potala) at Lhasa. Each time, he progresses the length of his body. He is wearing slabs of wood to protect his hands

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#39 Yak-Skin Boats, 1944. Yak-skin boats being carried up river by the boatmen. They look like huge, two legged beetles.

Yak-Skin Boats, 1944. Yak-skin boats being carried up river by the boatmen. They look like huge, two legged beetles.

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#40 Part of the Small Tibetan Army on Parade, 1944

Part of the Small Tibetan Army on Parade, 1944

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#41 Gaily Caparisoned Riding Mules, 1944

Gaily Caparisoned Riding Mules, 1944

Gaily caparisoned riding mules, belonging to a Tibetan official, waiting outside the Dalai Lama's palace in Lhasa. The man holding them is an attendant.

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#42 Nepalese Porters Carrying Supplies for China Over the Natu Pass, 1944

Nepalese Porters Carrying Supplies for China Over the Natu Pass, 1944

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#43 Tibetan Peasant Woman, 1944

Tibetan Peasant Woman, 1944

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#44 The Monk Chief Secretaries, 1944

The Monk Chief Secretaries, 1944

The Monk Chief Secretaries, who oversee the general affairs of all Tibetan Monasteries and select monk officials for the Tibetan government. They are the most influential body of monks in Tibet, sometimes called the "monk cabinet"

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#45 Tibetan Women in Lhasa Street, 1944

Tibetan Women in Lhasa Street, 1944

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#46 Tibetan Water-Carrier, 1944

Tibetan Water-Carrier, 1944

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#47 The Lord Chamberlain.1944. The Lord Chamberlain, influential monk and advisor to the Dalai Lama.

The Lord Chamberlain.1944. The Lord Chamberlain, influential monk and advisor to the Dalai Lama.

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#48 A Street in Lhasa, 1944

A Street in Lhasa, 1944

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#49 Tibetan Women Gossip in the Road, Outside Lhasa, 1944

Tibetan Women Gossip in the Road, Outside Lhasa, 1944

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#50 Pilgrim Monk Busily Twirls His Prayer Wheel, 1944

Pilgrim Monk Busily Twirls His Prayer Wheel, 1944

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#51 Shaggy Tibetan Dog Greets Us, 1944

Shaggy Tibetan Dog Greets Us, 1944

Shaggy Tibetan dog greets us noisily in front of gateway to the Dalai Lama's inner park, Jewel Park, Lhasa.

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#52 Monks and Pilgrims Entering Dalai Lama’s Throne Room, 1944

Monks and Pilgrims Entering Dalai Lama's Throne Room, 1944

Monks and pilgrims entering Dalai Lama's throne room to receive his blessing, Jewel Park, Lhasa.

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#53 The Chicago Daily News “Expedition” to Lhasa, 1944

The Chicago Daily News "Expedition" to Lhasa, 1944

The Chicago Daily News "expedition" to Lhasa, crossing the Nyapso-la (16,400 foot pass)

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#54 A.T. Steele’s Monk Guide in Lhasa, 1944

A.T. Steele's Monk Guide in Lhasa, 1944

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#55 Holy Monuments on the Trail to Lhasa, 1944

Holy Monuments on the Trail to Lhasa, 1944

On the trail to Lhasa holy monuments line the way. This chorten forms a arch over the trail.

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#56 Delegation With Gifts For the Dalai Lama, 1944

Delegation With Gifts For the Dalai Lama, 1944

Delegation with gifts for the Dalai Lama entering Dalai Lama's throne room in Jewel Park, Lhasa.

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#57 Street Bazaar in Lhasa.1944

Street Bazaar in Lhasa.1944

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#58 Pilgrims and Officials Leaving the Dalai Lama’s Summer Palace.1944

Pilgrims and Officials Leaving the Dalai Lama's Summer Palace.1944

Pilgrims and officials leaving Dalai Lama's summer palace in Jewel Park, Lhasa after receiving his blessing.

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#59 The Dalai Lama With Two of His Priest Attendants.

The Dalai Lama With Two of His Priest Attendants.

The monk on left is the Lord Chamberlain, who handles the Dalai Lama's personal affairs and is one of the most influential monks in Tibet.

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#60 Three Abbots of the Drepung Monastery, 1944

Three Abbots of the Drepung Monastery, 1944

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#61 The Lord Chamberlain, Lhasa, 1944

The Lord Chamberlain, Lhasa, 1944

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#62 A.T. Steele With Two Monks From Kumbum Monastery, 1939

A.T. Steele With Two Monks From Kumbum Monastery, 1939

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#63 Boats on the Brahmaputra River.1944

Boats on the Brahmaputra River.1944

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#64 Boats on the Brahmaputra River.1944

Boats on the Brahmaputra River.1944

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#65 Yak Caravans, 1944

Yak Caravans, 1944

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#66 Yak Caravans, 1944

Yak Caravans, 1944

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#67 Yak Caravans, 1944

Yak Caravans, 1944

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#68 Sir Basil Gould in Tibet, 1944

Sir Basil Gould in Tibet, 1944

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#69 Sir Basil Gould in Tibet, 1944

Sir Basil Gould in Tibet, 1944

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#70 Performers Dancing, 1944

Performers Dancing, 1944

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#71 Performers Dancing, 1944

Performers Dancing, 1944

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#72 The Dalai Lama, 1944

The Dalai Lama, 1944

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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