Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Ancients

In the remote villages here in the Northern Philipines, you see the most amazing faces and smiles. It's like that in rural and traditional communities around the world. Especially with the young and the elderly. The faces of the elderly tell the stories of ages long past.

Perhaps never in human history has the disparity between the generations been so great. The elderly here in the remote villages remember an era before the missionaries had arrived, when loin cloths were the normal attire and the houses were made of grass.

The other day, on a dirt road, I passed an old bent man wearing a loin cloth and carrying a spear. His passing was like touching a shadow. A last flickering shadow of an ancient way of life .

Its next to impossible to get photos of the old people. The young people here are shy enough! The old folks so much more-- Especially of white people and technology. Yet, I've been here a while now and the people know me. There's a remote village I have visited three or four times now. At a wedding I was invited to, my limited Kankanue got me talking with the old women. And, to my immense surprise-- they asked me if I could take their photo!

What an honor.

But there was one condition. They asked me if I could bring them copies of the photos. I gladly and solemnly consented. In the dusk and firelight, I snapped a few precious shots the best I could.

I haven't been able to return to the village and fulfill my promise-- til this past weekend. I set some backpackers up with a journey into the mountains to make portrait deliveries. You can read about that in my last post. In the meantime, I am honored to share these portraits of these amazing beings with you.

More portraits to come...

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