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Mar 26, 2016

Kochh Mandai woman of Eastern Bengal - 1860's

Kochh Mandai woman of Eastern Bengal - 1860's

This photograph shows a half-length portrait taken by an unknown photographer in the early 1860s of a Kochh Mandai girl, posed holding a broad-bladed agricultural knife and carrying a newly-harvested durian fruit on her head. Durian is an Indonesian word meaning thorny; the fruit is unique to southeast Asia. In some parts of the sub-continent it was a staple article of food, however the strong smell and distinctive flavour meant that many Europeans found it an acquired taste. The precise location of this tribe's origin is unknown, though at the time of this photograph they inhabited tracts of jungle to the north of Dacca currently in Bangladesh.
Source: British Library (bl.uk)