1913: Mongolia in colour

A hunter in vicinity of Urga

A Mongolian woman sentenced to starvation death

Badamdorj in vicinity of the Yellow Palace, Urga

Carriage of Stefan Passe between Kykhta and Urga


Lamas at the Yellow Palace

Married woman in Urga

Mongolian capital – Urga

Mongolian yurtas

Street in Urga

Stupas in a monastic block Gandan in Urga

Temple in Urga

Triumphal Gates of the Yellow Palace in Urga

Two Buryat riders in Troitskosavske

Two Cossack soldiers in Urga


4 Responses

  1. James Hamilton

    For what it’s worth, we don’t actually know the nature of the punishment suffered by the woman in the box. The box itself is reflective of a mobile, peripatetic society – it travelled with them. Khan’s photographers were excellent at documenting what they saw, but were unclear in this instance. We know neither her crime nor her sentence.

  2. Alan

    Amazingly shocking photograph though. And whatever the actual punishment, it could not be more clear that it is entirely inhumane. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come that these kinds of brutal punishments have become far rarer in the world. But of course, also of how far we have to go – since people are still treated cruelly in many places in the world.

  3. Susan Fox

    Alan, not shocking when you consider that the Mongols were a mobile herding society with no permanent buildings and whose every possession had to be portable, including confinement for criminals.

    It is useful to remember (as I am reminded every time I go to Mongolia, six trips now) that one can see or hear something in another country and find that it does not mean the same thing that it would in one’s own.

    Today’s Mongolian prisons are apparently not somewhere any sensible person would want to be, but they are western-style structures.

  4. TR

    She certainly doesntlook like she’s been starving for very long. I wonder what the bowls scattered all around the box are about. She’s probably being fed. I bet the photographer asked her to reach out the box and act like she’s trying to escape for dramatic effect in the photo. “Hey reach out that hole and act like your struggling to escape and I’ll give ya some more food. Oh yeah yeah that looks great!”


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