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Photographer's Note

I know this is not a very good photo but I post it anyway because I consider it one of the most amazing portraits I have ever taken.

This is from Goa, where I spent a week on my way through southern and western India in the spring of 1973. This day I had gone on a long walk through an area outside the state capital Panaji (often still known by its Portuguese name Panjim) where I met a number of workers repairing the road near the state Governor's residence. They were filling potholes and spreading new asphalt on the road in preparation for a visit a couple of days later by the President of India, who at that time was Varahagiri Venkata Giri (commonly known as V.V. Giri).

I checked my diary and found that I had noted that I took a number of photos of the marvellously dressed women carrying baskets of sand and rocks on their heads, but I didn't mention specifically this portrait. I don't remember if she posed willingly and gladly or if her male co-workers told her to pose. Seeing her now I am struck by her proud and dignified gaze in spite of her miserable poverty. I guess she belonged to a so called tribe, an ethnic minority group.

In one workshop you can see some of her colleagues. Another workshop shows a totally unrelated photo of a much younger Goan lady.

Here is a larger version of the main photo. All photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9534 W: 511 N: 18548] (82252)
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