In a world that seems inundated with tragedy and loss, enter a group of women who just get the job done with little fanfare and drama.
In NE India and NW Burma, lives an ethnic group loosely called the Nagas. They have lived in these rugged mountains for generations, pretty much out of the reach of Western mores and beliefs.
Historically the Naga practiced Animism which encompasses the belief that there is no separation between the spiritual and material world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder, wind, and shadows.
Part of their tribal belief system included the tattooing of pre-pubescent girls. Today most of the tattooed women are seventy-plus years old. The oldest lady I have met was 103 years old. The tradition ceased with the introduction of Christianity by the American Baptists.
It is my goal to publish a book about these lovely women and tell their stories.
Life is a journey, a continuum of everyday events and ordinary people, all of which make for an extraordinary lifetime of experiences.
The commonplaceness of the people, the situations and the objects found along my journey, become the elements that evoke calm, bring comfort, and furnish a sense of connectedness for me.
I am an adventurer, a lover of color, culture and the bewitching.
My path has taken me to Asia, particularly India and Myanmar. It is a long way from a dairy farm in New York State but the dairy farm was a good place to start the journey. I learned to appreciate the every day events and the emotions that make us human. Today I photograph ordinary people and ordinary situations on the other side of earth; their lives are much like the life lived on the dairy farm when I was a child.
I am drawn to the surface beauty but the beauty within ultimately captivates and transports me. Much of my work is about the environment that people live in. The conditions aid in understanding of the individuals I choose to photograph. Through my work I explore the spectrum of emotions: joy, passion, fear, anxiety, tenderness, anger, aloofness, etc. I allow myself to become involved with the individuals I photograph. Many times my emotions are transmitted to the images. These moments can be intense, maybe disturbing and always powerful.
It is personal and it matters to me.
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