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  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  View of the Imperial Throne Room
    Japan, 1951: View of the Imperial Throne Room

    The imperial throne room has long been used for the crowning of new emperors. The decorated panelling at the back depicts officials wearing the same court costumes as those of the T'ang dynasty of China. This period in the 7th and 8th centuries was the time of greatest cultural borrowing from China. --This was the description to accompany this image, as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script" was to accompany a slide show of images for his family and others.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Seller of pots, pans, and other household necessities
    Japan, 1951: Seller of pots, pans, and other household necessities

    Japan, 'the workshop of the Orient,' produces quantities of pans, pails, and kettles of iron and aluminum. Such exports we once sold principally in the Orient, but now they are sent to Africa and Latin America --This was the description to accompany this image as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script", was to accompany a slide show of the images for family and others.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Woman and children at neighborhood shop
    Japan, 1951: Woman and children at neighborhood shop

    In winter, warmth in a Japanese home is supplied from charcoal in a beautiful hibachi. On a cold November day this mother carries her son on her back, covered by a heavy kimono which keeps them both warm. --This was the description to accompany this image as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script", was to accompany a slide show of the images for family and others.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  National Peace Memorial Hall, sign telling facts about the power of the explosion
    Hiroshima: National Peace Memorial Hall, sign telling facts about the power of the explosion

    The atomic bomb dropped at 8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945, exploded at an altitude of approximately 580 meters over the city of Hiroshima. It emitted heat rays, blast, and radiation. In the vicinity of the hypocenter, heat from the bomb raised surface temperatures to 3,000 to 4,000 degrees C. and generated a blast that bkew 440 meters per second (aoubt 984 miles per hour). Simultaneously, an enormous amount of radiation was emitted. These three forms of energy instantly destroyed the entire city, indiscriminatey taking many precious lives.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  National Peace Memorial Hall, sign, Hall of Rememberance
    Hiroshima: National Peace Memorial Hall, sign, Hall of Rememberance

    “The Hall of Rememberance - The Hall of Remembrance is provided for recollection of the victims, prayer for the peaceful repose of their souls, and contemplation of peace.†-- The Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and a similar monument in Nagasaki, were founded by the Japanese national government recently. The Hall in Hiroshima was founded in 2002, and is housed in a stunning architectural achievement designed by Kenzo Tange. -- The center contains several elements, including the Hall of Rememberance, a staggering exhibition of the names and photographs of the victims of the explosion, and a library devoted to collecting and preserving memoirs of the victims.

  • Thumbnail for Head of a Transcendental Buddha
    Head of a Transcendental Buddha

    The following information is from the museum label: "The Five Transcendental Buddhas are manifestations of five aspects of the Buddha's nature. Each embodies a different sort of wisdom, such as equanimity or accomplishment. This concept developed primarily in Mahayana Buddhism and suggests that it is possible to reach enlightenment through a variety of spiritual paths. In central Java, where their worship was popular, the Five Transcendental Buddhas are often depicted together in temples. Because only the head of this Buddha remains, it is difficult to identify which of the five it represents." -- medium: Andesite -- Coll. Art Institute of Chicago (James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, 188.1997) -- A broader note on the development Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia: "Three main schools of Buddhism developed over time, each concerned with the path to salvation, the path to freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth. - "Hinayana Buddhism holds that salvation lies in monastic life and the teachings of the historical Buddha, who guided others by his own example of enlightenment. Hinayana art usually focuses on depicting the Buddha's life and image. This school, often known as the Southern Tradition, flourished in India but was adopted in Sri Lanka and much of Southeast Asia by the medieval era. - "Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism are often called the Northern Traditions. Mahayana Buddhism asserts that there are a variety of paths to enlightenment, and Mahayana artists create images of the Five Transcendental Buddhas in order to visualize the five holy qualities that led to salvation. During the medieval period, Mahavaya Buddhism became popular in China, Korea, and Japan. At the same time, Vajrayana Buddhism matured in Tibet, Nepal, and Mongolia with the establishment of new relationships between Buddhist and local deities. Vajrayana art varies widely in content and style, reflecting the blending of many religious traditions."

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 28  --  “Breathing their last in the fireâ€
    Hiroshima: Peace Memorial Museum, Art by Survivors, 28 -- “Breathing their last in the fire†by Furukawa, Shoichi

    Artist’s explanation: “After noon on the 6th, crowds of people were walking through the fire, torn and exhausted, toppling over. -- Evening of the 6th, the ground at her feet burning, a woman holding a dead baby was burned to death still standing. Night of the 6th, many people trapped under rubble were calling for help, then were consumed by fire and burned to death. -- Morning of the 9th, a dead body floating in the river; swollen and skinned, white eyeball dangling out, tongue protruding; the only thing the body wore was something resembling hair around the neck.†-- The scenes depicted in this image were 180 – 3600 meters from the hypocenter, Dambara-ohata-cho, Kawara-machi, Matsubara-cho, Oau 4-chome, and occurred in the period, August 6 – 9, 1945. The artist, Shoichi Furukawa, was 32 at the time of the bombing, 63 when he drew this picture.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  National Peace Memorial Hall, sign stating number of fatalities from the bomb by the end of 1945
    Hiroshima: National Peace Memorial Hall, sign stating number of fatalities from the bomb by the end of 1945

    The A-bomb devastated nearly all administrative agencies and destoyed official documents. Thus, the exact number of deaths due to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima remains unknown. Many victims were never identified. -- According to a document submitted by the city of Hiroshima to the United Nations in 1976 entitled 'For the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and the Reduction of All Armed Forces and All Armaments,' an extimated 140,000 (plus or minus 10,000) people died as a result of the A-bomb between August 6, 1945, and the end of December that year.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  National Peace Memorial Hall, sign describing continuing radiation related illnesses and deaths since 1945
    Hiroshima: National Peace Memorial Hall, sign describing continuing radiation related illnesses and deaths since 1945

    The injuries inflicted by the atomic bomb appeared to be healing by the end of 1945, but a high percentage of those who seemed to be recovering later fell victim to a vast array of aftereffects, including keloid scars, leukemia and other cancers. Since 1946, thousands of people have passed away each year, and the pain and anxiety of many survivors continue.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  View from the U.S., September, 1945
    Hiroshima: View from the U.S., September, 1945

    This PDF document presents the contents of a four page article from LIFE Magazine, September 17, 1945, "Effects of the Atomic Bomb." The seven photographs in this LIFE article were almost certainly the first images seen by the American public of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The photographs show exclusively the devastation of property, although the brief article does describe what we now recognize to have been the effects of radiation sickness and the article does acknowledge the known death toll, as of early September, 1945. Click above, on the phrase, "Access this item," to view the contents of the article from LIFE Magazine, presented here in PDF format.

  • Thumbnail for Hevajra and Nairatmya
    Hevajra and Nairatmya

    As described by the museum label,"This sculpture represents the Esoteric Buddhist deity Hevajra dancing and embracing his spouse, Nairatmya, whose name means 'No-soul.' Paired male and female deities usually symbolize compassion and wisdom in Vajrayana Buddhism, but in this instance Hevajra himself signifies both. His multiple hands hold various creatures of the universe, including animals, humans, and other gods. It is clear from this iconography that Hevaijra is a deity of all-pervasive, universal power." -- Nepal, Kathmandu Valley -- Gilt bronze and pigments -- Coll. Art Institute of Chicago (James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, 768.1978)

  • Thumbnail for Ryoanji, rock garden, detail, east end of garden, December
    Ryoanji, rock garden, detail, east end of garden, December

    East end of the rock garden at Ryoanji, photographed from the veranda of the hojo, looking to the south. Early December morning, frost on the roof of the wall surrounding the garden. The frost will disappear quickly as the sun rises in the sky.

  • Thumbnail for Painted Bodhisattva on pillar
    Painted Bodhisattva on pillar

    The pillars inside this cave display many figures of Buddhist monks as bodhisattvas and buddhas. These monks wear the traditional monastic robe covering one shoulder. The bodhisattva holds the lotus, symbol of enlightenment.

  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, child sitting in the balance
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, child sitting in the balance

    This child in her finest dress and blud scarf sits patiently in the metal crate of the balance as she is weighed against the bags of sweetbreads to be distributed to the community. Following a custom widely practiced in all religious communities in South Asia, the girl, as the primary participant in the ritual, wears a garland of fresh flowers.

  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child

    At this shrine, couples pray to the saint, Zar Zari Zar Baksh, for his help in conceiving a healthy child. When the child is old enough, the couples promise tol return and make an offering of thanksgiving. This ritual consists of distributing sweetbreads equal in weight to that of the child. To determine this weight, two metal crates are balanced by a rope hanging over the limb of a large tree in the courtyard of the dargah. Often travelling from great distances, families dress in their finest clothes and bring many family members to share in this festive celebratory ritual.

  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, mothers and children waiting for ritual
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, mothers and children waiting for ritual

    These women are holding their female and male children as they wait to perform the ritual of thanksgiving. Many women visiting the shrine note that the prayers of women offered at the dargah are understood to be more efficacious than those of men. [For description of the ritual, see cbind0043.]

  • Thumbnail for Aurangzeb Mosque, entranceway and view from outside
    Aurangzeb Mosque, entranceway and view from outside

    The yellow gate area marks the entrance into the mosque and tomb of the Emporor Aurangzeb. Stalls selling various religious goods line the passage leading into mosque. Worshippers can buy plaques inscribed with Qur'anic passages, scale models and photographs of religious shrines, scarves, prayer caps (topis), and books, among other religious goods. The sign "STD, ISD" designates a long distance telephone booth.

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)
    Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)

    Around the entranceways to the caves are figures of amorous couples symbolizing the good fortune of fertility and happiness. Sitting comfortably with the bodies touching, the woman leans against her partner's knee, while he reaches to stroke her face. Lotuses frame the scene.

  • Thumbnail for Ajanta Caves, panorama view from the vantage of the earliest caves
    Ajanta Caves, panorama view from the vantage of the earliest caves

    A view of the series of caves from the perspective of the earliest caves in the group. Though not visible in this photo, the builders constructed small channels through the caves to guide water from the waterfalls into and through the living areas for the convenience of the monks.

  • Thumbnail for Aurangzeb Mosque, ritual ablutions before prayer
    Aurangzeb Mosque, ritual ablutions before prayer

    Before praying, all Muslim worshippers must purify themselves by performing ritual ablutions. Mosques provide fountains or individual water spigots so that each person can carry out this ritual cleansing.

  • Thumbnail for Khuldabad, dome of the Aurangzeb Mosque
    Khuldabad, dome of the Aurangzeb Mosque

    A staunchly religious man, Aurangzeb enforced Sharia law for all, forbidding drinking and gambling in his realm, and reinstating the hated jizya tax on non-Muslims.

  • Thumbnail for Painted Maitreya Buddha
    Painted Maitreya Buddha

    The last in a series of painted buddhas and bodhisattvas framing the doorway above one of the caves, the royal Maitreya, buddha of a future age, is seated in a lotus position. His right hand may be held in the varada mudra, the gesture of compassion.

  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh inner courtyard
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh inner courtyard

    After walking up the stairs and through the arched main entranceway to the dargah, one enters the courtyard which leads to another set of steps and another arched entrance. Behind that doorway lies the tomb of the saint, Zar Zari Zar Baksh, and a second tomb for the mother of the saint. Both of these tombs are sacred sites, important to pilgrims seeking help and consolation.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, Ardhanarishvara
    Kailash Cave Temple, Ardhanarishvara

    Ardhanarishvara, the Lord who is Half Woman, has been carved into one of the many niches on the outside of the temple. The sculptors depicted many of the well-known stories of Hindu gods and goddesses on the walls of the temple. Pilgrims walking past these depictions are reminded of the tales and their teachings.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall entrance, near view
    Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall entrance, near view

    This ornate entranceway to Chaitya Hall would have received large numbers of monks and pilgrims. Today, children on school field trips climb through the stone passageways to learn about the history of these early communities.