The cultural mix of the Minab market is unique – even to my well-traveled eyes.
The first thing you notice is the way women dress – it’s either colourful hejabs or black chadors.
Yet the most interesting sight are the bird-like masks that some women wear.
The masks originate from Arabia. And this female attire – along with the different ethnic faces – reveals something of Minab’s history. For centuries, it was on a trade route linking Iran (Persia) with Arabia, Pakistan and Africa.
The market in Minab is held every Thursday.
The “Panjshambe Bazaar” attracts people from all over the Hormozgan region of southern Iran. And amid the Farsi dialect of Minabi, other languages spoken here include Arabic and Urdu.
It’s the women of Minab that make the market an attraction.
Photographing people in conservative Islamic societies is often difficult. (Likewise tribal Africa and indigenous Andean cultures).
Many remain wary of cameras and strangers.
And being a foreign male in an Islamic country (and without a local fixer) often means the best photos are never taken.
I shoot discreetly in public places but ask permission for conventional portraits.
When asked by local folks why I photograph I answer. I am not a professional. I won’t sell your image.
The objective of my photos – hobby aside – is to take pictures to counter my fading memories. And also to share my travels with other people. That’s you, readers 🙂