Soldiers at the Monlam Festival, Lhasa

Soldiers dressed up lavishly for the Monlam (New Years) festival in Lhasa. The helmet is festooned with birds feathers, a not uncommon theme in Central Asian head gear. He is also seen wearing ancient 'mail' on his chest and carrying a shield composed of braided/woven bamboo. In the photo below, we see that he also wears a similar shield mounted on his back. This was done to confuse the enemy in the event of a retreat.

This photograph was taken by Brooke Dolan & Ilya Tolstoy, originally appearing in the book, Lost Tibet