1965-1979: The Kingdom of Sikkim


Emisa Rista

“The kingdom of Sikkim sits tucked away high in the snow-capped Himalayas, hugging the border of Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.
Formerly an independent monarchy, Sikkim became a state of India in 1975.

The small, mountainous community was well-documented in 1963 when Hope Cooke, an American student from Sarah Lawrence College and former debutante, married the last ruler, Prince Palden Thondup Namgyal.

The following images, which were snapped by Dr. Alice S. Kandell during her visits to Sikkim between 1965 and 1971, offer a poignant look at the culture and landscape of the mystic land, including Buddhist monks, lamas, ancient monasteries, and ceremonial dances.”

Couple of North Sikkim at home drink millet beer  (1965-1979)

Young lamas learn to play horns February 1979Smiling schoolchildren  (1965-1979)School children at the Paljor Namgyal Girls School January 1969Coronation 1965, Queen accepts traditional white scarf April 1965Palden Thondup Namgyal, King of Sikkim, and Hope Cooke, Queen of Sikkim, in brocaded dress, walking to the palace temple during the King's birthday celebration May 1971King and Queen of Sikkim and their daughter Hope Leezum watch birthday celebrations May 1971Prince Palden (second from left) making silly faces with friends May 1971Princess Hope & Queen Hope in the palace May 1971Performers at New Year's ceremony February 1969Monks burn effigy of evil in religious ceremony January 1969A clown dancer participates in ceremonial masked lama dances January 1969A Nepalese woman works with blue-dyed wool May 1971Two villagers making paper (1965-1979)People carrying wood on their backs as they walk along a mountain road April 1965Woman and a boy farming in a field May 1971Woman and a boy farming in a field May 1971Headman of village, "Pipon," Lachung May 1971Shinglay Lama and grandchildren sit in a haystack near Singhik, Sikkim

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