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Beyond the vale of Kashmir

Identifier: Film Collection no. 217

Scope and Contents

Filmed during the Morden Expedition to Africa and Asia, 1922-1924. With panoramic vistas of the Himalayas in the background, Beyond the Vale of Kashmir begins as the expedition travels through western Tibet. Cinematographer Herford Tynes Cowling filmed portraits of Tibetan people and their activities such as making flour from grain stalks. The expedition goes to the village of Mulbik, where they visit a colossal sculpture of a four-armed god carved into a mountain wall. At Srinagar, on the River Jhelum, William James and Florence H. Morden stay with a British Colonel on an elegant houseboat, replete with fine art and furnishings. In addition to studying the household staff at work, the film explores the region of the River Jhelum during a cruise in a shikara. The pavilion made for Nur Mahal by her husband, the Mogul Emperor Jahanger, stands near the Shalimar Gardens, which abound with fountains and flowing waters. Kashmir dancers, dressed in voluminous robes and gold-embroidered caps encrusted with jewels, dance by the waters. Extensive footage of the Himis Tibetan monastery closely examines the elaborate costumes and masks used in the Devil Dances. The shushok (reincarnation of a saint) sits on his throne and a lama makes prayer flags for the faithful by pressing fabric on an ink block.


  • 1922-1924

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (51 minutes) : silent, black and white ; 35 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (51 minutes)) : silent, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 35 mm. print; incomplete.



Herford Tynes Cowling, photographer.

Beyond the vale of Kashmir, 1922-1924
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
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