Magazine article New Internationalist

[Photo of a Man in Pilgrimage Garb, Katragama, Sri Lanka]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Photo of a Man in Pilgrimage Garb, Katragama, Sri Lanka]

Article excerpt

[Graph Not Transcribed]

Kataragama, a town in the southeast of Sri Lanka, is probably the most important centre for pilgrimage on the island. Based around a shrine to the god of the same name, this small jungle site is now a bustling town. It is unique in that there is also a Buddhist temple and a mosque. The main festival time is July or August when pilgrims from across the country, of all denominations, flock to the town for the big festival. It culminates with fire-walking at night and a 'water-cutting' ceremony in the Menik Ganga River on the last day.

For many years I have been photographing the way we wrap cloth around our bodies in Asia. A sari, a sarong, a shawl, a versti... Frequently the pictures are details - one series shows only torsos. This is the torso of a man on pilgrimage in classic red and white, the colours for homage at the shrine to Kataragama. …

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