The cultural mix of the Minab market is unique – even to my well-traveled eyes. Faces reflect the location, on an ancient route linking Arabia with Iran, Pakistan and beyond.

islamic women minab iran

These women wanted a photo of the baby only, until I showed them the image on camera. Amazed – by technology, they then posed for me, giggling, enjoying the attention of onlookers, everyone seemingly, bewildered by this “event”.

Iran is a Shi’a Muslim state. But you’ll find pockets of Sunni Muslims around Minab. And while Arabic, Farsi (Persian) and other regional tongues are understood, the local dialect here is Minabi.

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Man checking out items for the coming Shi’a holiday of Ashura – when processions of men whip themselves in remembrance of the martyrdom of Ali (= the origins of Shi’a Islam).

Held every Thursday in Minab, “Panjshambe Bazar” attracts people from all over the Hormozgan region.

minab-iran

These face masks originate from Oman and other parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

It is the women of Minab that make the market such an attraction (nothing sexual or chauvinistic). Their bold garments make this – otherwise, regular – market intriguing to my foreign eyes.

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old masked woman smoking pipe market minab iran

Wandering the market, I encountered friendly faces (and many shy and surprised ones too) – but this woman was the brightest star. Not only to did she allow me to photograph her – but also offered me a puff on her pipe. Which I accepted; she was smoking tobacco.

islamic woman in veil showing face minab-iran

Photographing people in conservative Islamic societies (and tribal Africa and the Andean people’s of Bolivia + Peru) is often difficult. Many remain wary of cameras and strangers. In such situations it would be fair to say: one’s best photos – are often never shot.

market window reflections minab iran

Getting crazy on reflections.

I shoot discreetly in public places but ask permission for conventional portraits. When asked by local folks, why I shoot. I answer truthfully. I am not a professional. I don’t sell your image. The objective of my photos – art and hobby aside, is to take pictures to counter fading memories. And also, to share the world with others – that’s you, readers 🙂

Vendors + goods at Minab market.

Vendors + goods at Minab market in Iran

Travels in Iran – 2011

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