This photograph, entitled Mahratta Chief and his Attendants, depicts an affluent Indian chief sitting with two servants waiting on him. The Chief is sitting, staring intently at the camera, whereas his two aides’ eyes are caste towards him. While the leader sits in an ornate, carved wooden chair the others must either stand or sit on the floor, another reminder of the power difference in the three characters. In the background, an intricate stone wall is seen, before dropping off to reveal a lake and various foliage. From this small window into their world, the viewer can already get the sense this was part of an ornate estate. Which, upon further research regarding the Maratha (another spelling of Mahratta) clans, would make sense as they have historically been one of the most powerful ruling classes in India, controlling much of the Indian subcontinent before Britain consolidated its rule, as well as commanding the largest bloc of Indian princely states under British Raj rule. The chief is pictured holding a sword in its scabbard, demonstrating the warrior history traditionally associated with the Maratha dynasty. Furthermore, the chief is dressed in ornate, princely clothing, including a fine-crafted, colored shawl, whereas his compatriot standing is dressed in plain, white cloth. One final thing of notice is the facial hair on both the older men, as the photograph is dated circa 1855-1862 – a period of time in Britain where facial hair became a wildly popular fashion style, in contrast to the clean shaven styles seen in the years beforehand. This could indicate that, although the chief belonged to a powerful, wealthy Indian clan, even he was susceptible to British cultural influence. This photograph leads me to question where, exactly, this was taken, primarily to learn the extent of British influence in the region during the photograph’s period. I also would question for what purpose was the photograph taken? Was it part of a documentation trip led by British colonialists, or was it at the request of the chief pictured?