Photographer's Note

Remaining in southern India I step back in time to 1988, when I met this market lady in a street of Madurai, a large city in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Apart from painting her nails red she also wears a red bindi on her forehead. Contrary to popular belief in the West this does not indicate her caste. It's just a decoration, although it may also have a spiritual significance, for instance by symbolizing the third eye, looking inwards, to the soul.

The red powder applied to the parting of her hair is another decoration, usually showing that a woman is married.

I get the impression she was not too keen on having her photo taken, but since she didn't clearly object I just snapped the picture, thanked her and left. Of course I don't actually have any memory at all of this moment nearly 26 years ago.

I have scanned this from a Kodachrome slide. If you need a larger version you can see one here.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11512 W: 562 N: 22188] (96536)
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