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Photographer's Note

As I mentioned in one of my previous postings from Bhutan, nearly everyone in this Himalayan kingdom wears national dress as they go about their daily lives, and this includes even the children. These two young girls are wearing silk blouses called ‘toego’ which are worn over long cotton or silk dresses called ‘kira’. I have seen girls playing in muddy farmyards dressed in their kira and toego, and amazingly they still keep themselves clean. The Bhutanese children are definitely the most elegantly dressed kids I have seen anywhere in the world. These two girls look as if they are posing for this photograph, but in fact they were walking along the side of the road, arm in arm, looking at me taking photographs. When I turned the camera towards them, they just continued to look directly at me and didn’t seem to mind me taking their photograph.

The Bhutanese people are comprised of three main ethnic races, and some are dark skinned and some fair skinned. The Sharchops are the original inhabitants of Bhutan, and they are of Indo-Mongoloid origin, but nobody is sure about when they first settled Bhutan. Nowadays their descendants live mainly in the east of the country. The second ethnic group are the Ngalop who are descendants of Tibetan immigrants who first arrived in the 9th century. They occupied lands mainly in the west of the country. The third group are the Lhotshampa who are descendants of Nepalese immigrants who arrived in the country in the 19th century and lived mainly in the south.

PP: This was taken at some distance from the girls (focal length 85mm) so was heavily cropped to almost full size. Minor adjustments to levels and contrast, saturation +8, USM.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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