Alison Wright
Goite, woman from Hamer Tribe   There are over 200,000 people living among the fifty unique tribes in the Omo Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Each of the tribes has their own costumes, traditions and even language. This woman is from the Hamer tribe in Ethiopia. The metal collar adornment on her neck indicates that she is married. I was photographing Goite’s husband in front of their hut as he was piercing their cow in the neck with an arrow and bleeding him to mix with milk, a high source of protein in their diet. I turned and was riveted by Goite’s eyes as she peered back at me with curiosity from the darkness of her hut. Sometimes the best photo is actually behind you. Most of these environmental portraits were made in natural local surroundings with available light. With some of these people I have spent more time than with others. Many I have never met before and will probably never see again. Whether it was a long or brief encounter in the street or their home, there was always a sense that together we were giving a face to a place. In spite-or sometimes because of-ubiquitous language barriers, this shared intent became the crux of our connection. Gaining this trust has influenced me to make a picture rather than take a picture. In this triangular viewpoint, I saw them and now they look back at you the viewer.
Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Goite, woman from Hamer Tribe
There are over 200,000 people living among the fifty unique tribes in the Omo Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. Each of the tribes has their own costumes, traditions and even language. This woman is from the Hamer tribe in Ethiopia. The metal collar adornment on her neck indicates that she is married. I was photographing Goite’s husband in front of their hut as he was piercing their cow in the neck with an arrow and bleeding him to mix with milk, a high source of protein in their diet. I turned and was riveted by Goite’s eyes as she peered back at me with curiosity from the darkness of her hut. Sometimes the best photo is actually behind you.
Most of these environmental portraits were made in natural local surroundings with available light. With some of these people I have spent more time than with others. Many I have never met before and will probably never see again. Whether it was a long or brief encounter in the street or their home, there was always a sense that together we were giving a face to a place. In spite-or sometimes because of-ubiquitous language barriers, this shared intent became the crux of our connection. Gaining this trust has influenced me to make a picture rather than take a picture. In this triangular viewpoint, I saw them and now they look back at you the viewer.

Alison Wright

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Alison Wright

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