Black and white photograph showing a procession of nine Buddhist nuns, each carrying a musical instrument.
Hedda Morrison wrote in 'A photographer in Old Peking' (1985): 'In my later years in Peking I often visited a small buddhist nunnery in the West City to talk to the nuns and to watch them at their devotions. They were kind women, strangely innocent as to what was happening in the world outside but with a lively curiosity to learn. They used to give me tea and ply me with questions. They were concerned about my own situation and told me if I ever had difficulties I should come to them for shelter and protection'. Most of Hedda's photographs of buddhist nuns were taken in the Cuifeng Temple, at the foot of Miaofeng shan in the Western Hills. She visited the temple, which provided temporary lodgings for travellers, many times, particularly during 1940-46.
This is one of a large number of photographs documenting local customs that was taken by Hedda Morrison (1908-1991) during her years of residence in Peking (Beijing), China 1933-1946.
Exhibited in 'An Asian experience: 1933-67', organised by the Asian Studies Association of Australia, Fisher Library Foyer, University of Sydney, 12-30 May 1986. Reproduced in Hedda Morrison, 'A photographer in Old Peking', Hong Kong, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 76, with the caption 'Buddhist nuns in the west city with musical instruments. They were a very devout followers of the Buddha and offered to provide me with a refuge if ever I needed it'.
Gift of Mr Alastair Morrison, 1992