Collector’s Edition: Paul Abraham on ‘People of India’

Part of the Spotlight feature People of India

Sarmaya founder Paul Abraham introduces us to a gem from the collection: a rare 19th-century album of ethnographic photographs. ‘People of India’ was a lengthy eight-folio volume edition consisting of 468 images from the Indian subcontinent, aimed to document the races and tribes of ‘Hindustan’. The publication’s first volume was issued in 1868, compiled by JW Kaye and J Forbes Watson at the behest of Governor-General Lord Canning (1856-62). Around 15 photographers and 18 authors contributed to this project. Over years, Paul has painstakingly collected this work in bits and pieces–some albums have been found in-tact, others are in loose photographs.