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Photographer's Note

At the entrance to the village of Kagbeni, you can see these unusual guardian figures, moulded from clay.
These figures are constructed to guard the village from evil or hostile spirits.
There is clearly a double symbolism at work here; on the one hand the male figure with his fierce expression and armed with a knife is there in the role of the defender, while the female figure cradling her baby symbolises fertility and life. The sexual organs evident on both statues also point to the importance of fertility, both of the people, but also agricultural fertility.
In this high altitude desert landscape, only very small, carefully irrigated areas are suitable for cultivation, and the maintenance of these fertile areas is very important to the local people.
As you descend the hill towards Kagbeni from Muktinath, the green, irrigated fields near the village are an amazing sight, when set against the barrenness of their surroundings.

Unfortunately the quality of this slide wasn't the best; it was a bit over-exposed, but I tried to correct it as much as possible in photoshop. Hopefully the interesting subject makes up for the technical shortcomings.

Tomorrow we leave for another region of the Himalayas, Ladakh in northern India, so I'll be away from here for a few weeks. I look forward to catching up with you all when I get back, and of course, sharing some of the many photographs that I hope to take.
See you soon!

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Additional Photos by Ben WX (ben4321) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1801 W: 133 N: 2077] (9875)
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