Portrait Series: Women of India & Nepal

I spent a month in India & Nepal and was immediately awestruck by how vibrantly colored the scenery was, including the people. In these countries, I encountered some of the most beautiful, striking, and interesting faces I’ve ever seen due to their rich and diverse cultural history, and it was an honor to photograph them all. As our simple way of rounding out Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I pay homage to these stunning women who, while not American, are part of an ancestral lineage that is responsible for aiding in the beautifying and diversifying of this country that we call home.

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A woman sits in a beaten down shop in the alleyways of Varanasi, India.

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A young Nepali girl takes a break from running down a mountain in a rural village to pose for my camera.

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Two women on the streets of Pokhara, Nepal transport heavy materials by wrapping baskets and bags around their heads and using the strength of their necks and backs to support the weight.

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A woman in Darjeeling, India selling baskets that she made by hand, takes a pause from her hustle to flash me a smirk.

A woman in the remote agrarian village of Takure, Nepal harvests leaves from a highly elevated tree to feed her livestock.

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A woman shaves her head in Varanasi, signifying the recent loss of a loved one. In Hinduism, shaving off one’s hair symbolizes the release of pain and suffering, allowing for new growth and a fresh start.

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A woman carries her child along the open mountain paths of Takure, Nepal. The child is intrigued by my camera, and I ask to take portrait.

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A young girl dressed up as a Sadhu in Varanasi as a means of making money from tourists by posing for their photos (including mine), looks back through my lens, backlit by the sunrise on the Ganges River.

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A respected and wise woman in the village of Takure, Nepal is pleased when I ask to photograph her. The wrinkles in her face and the grays in her hair tell a million stories.

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Another woman with a newly shaved head offers up her morning prayers in the Ganges River — a morning ritual for the locals of Varanasi, India’s holiest city.

A woman in rural Takure, Nepal carries her grandson up a mountain by tying a blanket around her waist with him tucked in.

 

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All photos by Arnelle Lozada. Follow along on her Instagram @arnelle.