Monday, 13 April 2009

My Work: Traders of Kochi


One of the scheduled photo-shoots during the Theyyams of Malabar Photo~Expedition was in the streets of old Kochi, or more specifically, Mattencherry. This area offered opportunities to photograph the bazaar-like alleys, with traditional godowns and stores stocked with all types of rice, dark brown nutmeg, red and green chillies, earthy ginger, black pepper and other spices.

From the walkabout in Mattencherry is the Traders of Kochi gallery.

Many of the local people I spoke with, and photographed, were Muslims, descendants of the Arab merchants who propagated their faith along the Malabar Coast. A significant community was created through the marriage of local women to these Arab sailors, and are still known as the Mappilas or Moplahs. The Arabs merchants and mariners are believed to come from the Red Sea coastal areas, and the Hadramaut region of Yemen.

Nice people, hard-working and welcoming.