|Photo © Giselle Natassia - All Rights Reserved|
This blog post will lead to a photo gallery that featured graphic and possibly disturbing images.
Men (rarely women) participate in this self-mutilation ritual, and are called masongs. They are men possessed by gods or deities during the festival. Only pure, unmarried men without families of their own can become a masong. The deities inside them protects them from feeling any pain, and allows them to walk across hot coals or exploding fireworks and bathe in hot oil. They pierce their mouths, cheeks, ears, and arms with fish hooks, knives, razor blades and bamboo poles.
Often, a person is contacted during a dream, vision, or period of long illness, and are told they have been chosen to become a masong. There are several reasons that a masong is chosen. The chosen person may be close to impending doom or death, and becoming a masong extends their lifetime. Also, such a person may be rewarded for maintaining good moral qualities during their lifetime.
Giselle Natassia is an Australian photographer specializing in advertising, documentary and entertainment photography. She has a BA in Creative Advertising Design and a Bachelor of Creative Industries. She won numerous awards and has been published both at home and abroad. The publications include National Geographic, Vice Magazine and Pilerats.
After this preamble, you might be ready to view Giselle Natassia's Vegetarian Festival.