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Returning the Gaze - Hamar Market II | by david schweitzer
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Returning the Gaze - Hamar Market II

© All rights to these photos and descriptions are reserved and protected by international copyright laws. Any use of this work requires my prior written permission.

 

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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.

 

Hamar Aesthetics Series

 

Documentary Portraiture on Fluidr

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Taken in February 2009