Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Thierry Riga: Lalibela Portraits

Photo © Thierry Riga-All Rights Reserved

Here's another case where the photographer is not forthcoming with personal details, but Thierry Riga appeared on my radar screen when he subscribed to my email newsletters. I looked him up, and except for his website, there isn't much...which is a shame because perhaps photo editors and buyers will want to know more about him after this post.

Thierry has three manin galleries on his website...three galleries with large images. The kind of large that pleases me and photo editors and buyers, because they can see them properly. The three galleries are of Buddhist novitiates from Myanmar (Burma), of portraits of deacons, priests and devotees during Timket in Lalibela and the fishermen of Lake Inle in Burma.

I choose to highlight Thierry's Lalibela Portraits for no other reason than it's one of the handful of galleries mentioned on this blog that deals with the Christian faith in Ethiopia.

Timket is the Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 19 (or 20 on a Leap Year). It celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. During the ceremonies, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, is reverently carried in a procession. Timket is celebrated all over Ethiopia, but it's particularly spectacular in Lalibela, a Biblical mountain town famous for its 11 churches hewn out of solid rock over a thousand years ago. Many Ethiopians believe they were built by angels.

I recall being awakened at 3:00 am or so in Lalibela by Timket ethereal chants...enough to give goosebumps to the most secular of humans. My own gallery Footsteps in North Abyssinia has some portraits from Lalibela.