1993, Kerala, India
Plate 34, 18x27
These young children had watched me for a while before coming over to see what I was about - a stranger in their remote village. Their hair was wild and unkempt, yet their garments were fairly neat and in good condition. They had been playing across an open field when they noticed me, and I did not have the opportunity to ask them if I might take this picture before I took it. Nevertheless, they seemed to continue towards me, happy enough, and when they finally got within arm's reach, they seemed quite curious about the camera, asking for nothing and seeming to be quite comfortable with the fact that there were three of them and but one of me. The drawback was the language barrier. They could not understand me, and I could not understand them, verbally. However, there were many similarities
to be discovered between them and my own children back home. They were all out for a morning walk. The stick one girl was carrying seemed out of place, but only because my children would have had little occasion for carrying a stick on a morning walk. Yet in this remote environment, these young people evidently found a requirement big enough for them to carry this rather weighty item.
Their hair remained somewhat of a mystery to me. My children made a whole expression in combing and brushing and decorating their hair. These kids went to the other extreme and seemed to deliberately neglect and allow its own wildness. We visited only for a short while, and then they seemed to drift away, not formally bidding goodbye or taking their leave, but rather just moving away almost casually until they had put a fair distance between them and me.