/ 2017 / Press / Travel/Tourism


  • Prize
    Silver in Press/Travel/Tourism
  • Photographer
    Mick Stetson, Japan

Although Hinduism as it is practiced today is generally a
patriarchal system, its ancient roots are matriarchal. Unlike most
major religions, Hinduism has a multitude of masculine and
feminine deities that are worshipped and receive equal
veneration from its devotees. In the Hindu tradition many
matriarchal principles and traditions still exist. The Swasthani
Festival is one example of a matriarchal tradition that survives.
The principal participants are women who have temporarily left
their homes for a month of worship and fasting. The men who
participate play a subordinate role, assisting the women during
their daily ascetic routines. The married women who participate
do so because their families at home, including their husbands,
have taken on all of the familial responsibilities while they are
In this series, I want to show how all participants, the pilgrims
and throngs of observers, are integral parts or principal players,
acting out an ancient ritual or drama.