Returning the Gaze - Hamar Market II
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Returning the photographer's gaze - sometimes with a proud and knowing smile or an indignant look of resistance and mimicry as the observer becomes the observed. The gaze is returned, the observer othered. Subject owns the gaze for a frozen moment.
Duka, a married Hamar woman, trades dry grass at a weekly Hamar market in the remote Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region of southern Ethiopia.
Adorned with cowrie-shell collar, copper and brass bracelets, beaded goatskin clothing and iron marital torques. Upper torque with phallic protrusion is wrapped in leather, signifing first-wife status. The torques are worn for life.
A graceful gait, an elegant long-limbed stance or simply this candid pose under the photographer's gaze exudes poise and dignity even in the midst of the weekly market bustle.