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Jan 5, 2016

Mussucks at the banks of the Beas river in Kullu valley, Himachal Pradesh - 1865

Mussucks at the banks of the Beas river in Kullu valley, Himachal Pradesh - 1865

View at the banks of the Beas river in Kullu valley, taken by Samuel Bourne in the 1860s. A mussock is a normally a leather water bag, consisting of the entire skin of a large goat, carried by a ‘bhishti’, a domestic servant who supplied the family with water. But in this photograph these seem to be inflated bullock skins used to cross the water. Bourne's dark-tent is pictured under the tree, as is Dr George Rankin Playfair, a surgeon knowledgeable in natural history and the latest theories of glacial movement, who accompanied Bourne on his third Himalayan trip.

Photographer: Samuel Bourne
Source: British Library