Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Snowing Over Yellowstone National Park

To all, family and friends, I wish you a very happy 2014 year
A tous, famille et amis, je vous souhaite une très heureuse année 2014
 A todos, familia y amigos, les deseo un muy feliz año 2014     

        Moose crossing river under snow in America’s Yellowstone National Park
Elan traversant une rivière sous la neige au parc national de Yellowstone aux Etats-Unis

Monday, December 30, 2013

Madagascar: Betsileo Couple On Their Way To The Fields

South of Ambositra, in Madagascar, I came across this happy Betsileo couple on their way to their fields.
Au sud d’Ambositra, à Madagascar, j’ai rencontré cet heureux couple de fermiers Betsileo en chemin vers leurs champs.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bolivian Altiplano: Old Quechua Llama Herder

This 84-year-old Quechua man, his clothes a patchwork of repairs, was running behind some 60 llamas as if he were only half his age when he caught sight of me and stopped to have a better look at me.

Cet homme Quechua de 84 ans aux vêtements rapiécés  courait derrière une soixantaine de lamas comme s’il n’avait que la moitié de son âge lorsqu’il m’aperçut et s’arrêta pour mieux me dévisager. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Chile: Mapuche Woman In Traditional Costume

Chile near Temuco: Mapuche woman in traditional costume, as used during tribal celebrations.
Chili près de Temuco. Femme Mapuche en costume traditionnel, en usage durant les réunions tribales.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sahara: Tuareg Girls Portrait

Tuareg girl of the Niger’s Sahara Desert holding her little restless cousin quiet for a photo. Shot in 1973.

Petite fille touarègue  du Sahara nigérien maitrisant pour le photographe une petite cousine hyperactive. Photo 1973. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Colombia: Riding Horses Bareback

On Colombia’s páramo, on my way up snow-capped El Cocuy Mountain, my path crossed that of a farmer and his son riding horses bareback on their way down to the small town of El Cocuy.
Sur le páramo colombien, durant une escalade d’El Cocuy, une montagne à la cime enneigée, mon chemin a croisé ce fermier et son fils qui montaient leurs chevaux sans selles dans leur descente au gros village du même nom que la montagne.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Niger: Male Beauty Contest Among The Wodaabe nomads

Wodaabe nomads of Niger’s Sahel zone dancing the Yakey, which is at once a male beauty contest between the men of a same clan. Their grimaces are meant to show the whiteness of their teeth and of their eyes' whites.

Nomades Wodaabe du Sahel nigérien dansant le yakey, qui est à la fois un concours de beauté masculine. Leurs grimaces s’efforcent de montrer aux femmes qui les observent la blancheur de leurs dents et du blanc de leurs yeux.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mali: Sunset Over Timbuktu

   Sunset over a 1969 view of Timbuktu, a big Saharan village of Mali

   Soleil couchant sur un aspect de la Tombouctou de 1969, un gros village      saharien

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Indonesia: Dayak Dancing Inside A Central Borneo Longhouse

In central Borneo’s rain forest of 1968 Indonesia, those Dyak people were dancing inside their longhouse.

Au centre de la forêt de Bornéo, dans l’Indonésie de 1968, ces Dayak dansaient dans leur traditionnelle longue maison.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Chance Encounter At The Stone Age

In 1968 I visited Indonesia’s  Baliem Valley in Irian Jaya, also known as West Papua. There I found this Dani man sharpening the blade of his stone ax. Other stone tools behind him were waiting to be sharpened as well.
En 1968, de passage pour la vallée de Baliem en Irian Jaya, également connue comme Papua occidentale, le hasard m’a mené à cet homme Dani en train d’aiguiser la lame de sa hache de pierre. Ses autres outils de pierre derrière lui attendaient leur propre tour.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Coming Of Age In The Night Forest

     One Scout summer camp in Belgium’s eastern Ardennes region in 1947, when I was 14, I suffered humiliation that would torment me a whole year. We were camping near Malmédy. Our leaders woke us, over 20 scouts, at midnight to challenge us to walk alone through a long stretch of woods and back. The forest path led to Lake Robertville, near the ruins of Reinhardstein, a 14th-century castle. A German nobleman had built it at a time that Reihardstein was part of Germany, centuries before Belgium came into existence as a country.
     A walk in the woods at midnight towards a medieval castle seemed too spooky to all but one of us. He was my 15-year- old tent mate and first cousin, Jean (John in English), whose virile qualities I grudgingly, though secretly, acknowledged and tried to emulate. At that time, he towered above me, he was a born artist, and his good looks made him very popular among girls. He lived on a Canada street and was known as Don Juan du Canada
     Another factor tinged my relationship with my cousin. My mother’s humble origins were cause for some disdain from our father’s family. She wanted her sons to be as good as, or better than, their cousins, and she found in my competitive nature a born ally. She was mad at me when I was not first of my class, which fortunately I was much of the time. I was an eager pupil, choosing the front bench, eyes and ears open, and an arm always up. Like many Third-World children I would photograph later in my travels, school was exciting entertainment to me, as well as a chance to prove my worth.
    It took cousin Jean an hour round-trip through the woods, and he slept soundly after that, as he well deserved.  But I could not find sleep for the rest of the night because shame would not let me. I tried to console myself with the excuse that I was a year younger than he. But I knew that if that was the honest excuse, I would need to return, at 15, and repeat his feat. To prove to myself that I was no coward, I decided to do him one better: I would spend the night in the castle. Fortunately, I had a full year to build my courage.
     Next summer came, and my Scout troop traveled again to the Ardennes, not far from where we had camped the year before. I let my parents believe that I was leaving with the Scouts, but I would rejoin them only the next day. First I had to keep my vow. I had to know whether I had the makings of an explorer. So that evening I took the train by myself. Alone in my train car, I nearly missed my destination, for the train only stopped for 60 seconds, and in the dark I could not find the sign giving the station’s name. No one else got off. The station and the hamlet before me were deserted, and the forest loomed just beyond a few fenced pastures.
      My eyes quickly adapted to the darkness. I crossed the silent hamlet and squeezed through the fences of the few pastures, the last of which was where we Scouts had camped the year before. Squeezing a little too fast through barbed wires to evade an approaching bull that probably meant no harm, I ripped my shirt, and wondered what Mother would make me pay for it. I stood now at the edge of the forest—at the mouth of the dragon.
    Initially, the stars had lit my way, but none shone through the forest canopy, which looked to me like a frightening trap. I found the path, took a deep breath, and pulled a flashlight and a Scout hatchet out of my backpack.  I would not have felt differently entering a forbidden temple.    
     With heart beating hard and a tight grip on my hatchet, I took cautious steps before quickening my pace. The air was cool and infused with soothing smells. Though I tried to tread lightly, I sometimes stumbled over stones and protruding roots. The sounds of my feet drowned all other sounds. When I stopped to listen, the forest seemed quiet for a few seconds before filling slowly with furtive and snapping noises. I could see nothing beyond the reach of my flashlight and so switched it off.  Then I realized that the faint light from the night sky filtering through the leaves gave me a better idea of my surroundings. It lightened the blackness that the flashlight created all around––the great black regions where bad people might lie in ambush--while the darkness helped make me less visible. Now the forest no longer looked so threatening.
     I moved on, thinking that my cousin Jean at least must have had a couple of leaders secretly watching over him from the shadows. But I was alone, and no one would rush to my help if needed. Even if I did not spend the night in the castle, I was already doing better than he. I told myself this in case I would not find the courage to face my own ultimate challenge. Though the walk seemed to last an eternity, it took me through the woods to the lake in half an hour.  
     Now Lake Robertville spread out in front of me, as mysterious under a cold white mist as the forest and the castle nearby. Indistinct under extra layers of mist up a hill nearby, the castle looked ominous. I lingered at the lake, struck by how different its mood was from the one I had experienced before under a bright sun. I was in no hurry to test myself further. All was amazingly quiet, and I felt calmer. I took another deep breath and forced myself away from the lake toward the castle, still not sure whether I would dare enter it. 
     The breeze caused an unsettling noise––that of the rusted iron grille gate grating on its hinges. I had heard that sound in horror movies. But there was no turning back. Otherwise I would not be able to live with myself, and I would never become an explorer. I forced myself to ridicule my fear. I tried not to think. Nervously, I tightened my grip on the hatchet again and moved inside the castle’s walls. I had been inside the castle with the Scouts during the day, but outside the beam of my flashlight great black shadows lurked all around. Shadows hiding what? I wondered again. Now I could not switch off my flashlight, as I was no longer under a forest canopy but under a high ceiling, and the blackness all around would remain threatening to the end.
     I found the stairway that spiraled up one of the towers and started climbing. Halfway up, on rubber legs, I bumped into the tower’s circular inner wall, dropped the metal flashlight down the stone stairs, and nearly fell down the stairs myself. Now in total darkness, I felt my heart beating all the way to my ears. Cascading down the stone steps, the flashlight’s loud metallic noise echoed around the castle. That noise would wake anyone sleeping there, and I wanted to run back down. But it was as dark below as it was above. And in such darkness I could not run in any direction. I listened for any suspicious noise, heard none, and calmed down again.
     You’re almost there, I told myself, and winning your wager. Getting your humiliation off your chest. Thus heartened, I resumed my climb, feeling my way along the humid and musty curving stone wall like a blind boy, stumbling sometimes. I stopped occasionally to silence the echo of my footsteps and listen for outside movements. But again there was none. The climb in the dark now seemed longer than the forest trail itself.
     A faint light finally appeared above. I had reached the top of the tower, open under the starry sky. I looked down at the dark forest and the misty lake, amazed to be standing atop the castle wall. Blood raced though my veins, and my chest suddenly seemed too small to hold my heart. But this was no longer fear. It was fear conquered. I knew then that my life would never be the same again.
     I spread my sleeping bag on the stone floor but was too elated to sleep. Like that humiliating night the year before, I could not close my eyes.  Not for shame anymore, but for pride. How beautiful the stars were! Never had I seen them so bright. Later in life, as a man dedicated to photographing and describing the lifestyles of indigenous peoples in the wildest corners of the world, I would often lie awake all night under the stars, so bright away from city lights––so humbling in their wonder, that to close my eyes on them felt like sin. Those countless nights under foreign skies, like the starry sky I described at the beginning of this story, would always remind me of that wondrous night atop the castle, when the stars blinked with approval.

Indonesia: Stone-Age Man

In 1968, walking through a Dani hamlet in Irian Jaya, Indonesia’s West Papua, I photographed  this man leaving his hut to split firewood with a stone ax.

En 1968, traversant un hameau Dani en Irian Jaya, la partie occidentale indonésienne de la Nouvelle Guinée, j’ai photographié cet homme qui sortait de sa hutte, une hache de pierre à l’épaule, pour aller couper du bois à bruler.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Indonesia: Borneo Climbing Dog

This 1968 scene shows a Dyak longhouse in Indonesia’s central Borneo’s rain forest.
Cette scène de 1968 montre une longue maison Dayak en Indonésie dans la forêt du centre de Bornéo.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Indonesia: Bali Funeral Procession

In Denpasar, in Indonesia’s Bali Island, the daughters and son of a deceased woman are being carried in a funeral procession.

A Denpasar, dans l’île indonésienne de Bali, les filles et le fils d’une femme décédée sont portés en procession funéraire.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Benin: Somba Farmer Portrait

In 1963 I crossed path with this Somba farmer returning from a field near Boukombe in Benin. Covered only with a penis sheath and a goat skin, he carried a hoe, an ax, a basket and a jar of water.

En 1963 j’ai croisé chemin avec cet homme Somba revenant de travailler au champ près de Boukombe au Bénin. Couvert seulement d’un étui pénien et d’une peau de chèvre, Il portrait une houe, une hache, un panier et une jarre d’eau.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Indonesia: Bewitching Sumatra

Near Padang, in Indonesia’s Sumatra, a rising sun glowing through an early mist backlights a mosque along a sleepy river.
Près de Padang, sur l’ile indonésienne de Sumatra, le soleil levant brille à travers une brume matinale, éclairant une mosquée en contrejour  le long d’une paisible rivière.

Bolivia: Melancholy Of A Cold Altiplano Village

On the Bolivian Altiplano, under the frigid air from a distant Andean cordillera, the streets of Atocha were deserted until a spy spotted a stranger with a camera and sent two cyclists to  find out who he was. I photographed them from the square’s kiosk.
Bolivie. Altiplano. Village d’Atocha photographié depuis le kiosque de la place  centrale.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mexico: Paracutin Volcano

On February 20, 1943, a volcano rose from flat Mexican fields around Paricutin, changing the landscape in just a few days.
Le 20 février 1943 un volcan surgit de champs mexicains autour de Paricutín, qui jusque-là avaient été plats, changeant totalement le paysage. 

    In June 1943, only a few months later, the volcano’s lava had covered evacuated           Paricutin totally, leaving only the church’s tower visible, as a reminder of where the       village once stood.
     En juin 1943, à peine quelques mois plus tard, la lave du volcan avait recouvert        totalement Paricutín, évacué a temps. Il avait épargné seulement la tour de                l’église, comme  pour rappeler ou s’était trouvé autrefois le village anéanti.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

More Boy-Made Toys From The Developing World

Where commercial toys are inexistent, boys make their own.
Là où les jouets commerciaux n’existent pas, les garçons créent les leurs.

Near Boukombe, in north Benin, Somba boys build toy cars using millet stems and, for the wheels, pieces of gourds.
Près de Boukombe, au nord du Benin, des garçons Somba construisent des voitures de jouets avec des tiges de mil et, pour les roues, des morceaux de calebasses.

Near Boukombe, in north Benin, Somba boys with the toy car he built.
Près de Boukombe, au nord du Benin, garçon Somba avec son propre jouet.

Near Dosso, in Niger, a Djerma boy pulls the toy car he built.
Près de Dosso, au Niger, un garçon Djerma tire son propre jouet.

Close-up view of preceding toy car
Le jouet précédent vu de plus près

In Bonwire, Ghana, an Ashanti boy pushes two tiny wheels at the end of a stick.
A Bonwire, au Ghana, un petit garçon pousse deux petites roues au bout d’un bâton.

Near Kumasi, Ghana, Ashanti boys race tiny wheels at the ends of sticks.
Près de Kumasi, au Ghana, des garçons poussent de petites roues aux bouts de bâtons.

Yet another style of toy car, this one in Gambela, Ethiopia.
Encore un autre style de jouet à roues, celui-là à Gambela, en Ethiopie.

Near Boukombe, in Benin, a Somba boy uses an organic pistol, triggering it with an ingenious spring.
Près de Boukombe, au Benin, un garçon Somba joue avec un pistolet organique activé par un ingénieux ressort.

  Having used the bows and arrows they made, Somba boys return from a lizard hunt near Boukombe, in Benin.
Ayant utilisé les arcs et flèches de leur fabrication, ces garçons reviennent d’une chasse aux lézards près de Boukombe, au Bénin.

Wet from racing in drenching rain the toy trucks they made out of discarded tins, those kids in the Philippines’s Lakanaon Island find it hilarious that a stranger would show interest in their creative production.
Trempés par une forte averse, ces garçons de l’île
De Lacanaon aux Philippines, trouvent très drôle que les petits camions qu’ils fabriquèrent de vielles boîtes métalliques puissent susciter l’intérêt d’un étranger.

Ifugao boys of Banaue, in the Philippines’ Luzon Island, built their own wooden bicycles. Not equipped with pedals, the bikes must be propelled by the riders’ feet.
Garçons Ifugao de Banaue, dans l’ile Philippine de Luzon, qui  ont construit eux-mêmes leurs vélos de bois sans pédales, qui  s’actionnent avec les pieds.

Having no companion to share a seesaw in Pontianak, Indonesian Borneo, this little boy replaced the painted block, too heavy to balance his own weight, with some lighter pieces of wood.
N’ayant pas de compagnon pour lui faire contrepoids, et étant trop léger pour le bloc peint, ce petit garçon de Pontianak, au Bornéo indonésien, l’a remplacé par du bois de son poids.

Yanomami boy, of Brazil’s  Amazon rain forest, finishing an arrow for his bow

Garçon Yanomami de l’Amazonie brésilienne terminant une flèche pour son arc.

A Wayuu Indian boy of Colombia’s Guajira Desert poses with the toy truck he built from discarded materials.
Un petit indien Wayuu du désert colombien de la Guajira pose avec le jouet qu’il s’est construit.

The steerable wheeled board this boy built in Silvia, in  Colombia’s Cauca Department, reaches great speed down Andean streets. On market day he also uses it to earn tips transporting people’s purchases.
Cette planche à roues permet à ce garçon de Silvia, dans le département colombien du Cauca, de descendre les rues andines à grande vitesse. Le jour de marché il s’en sert pour aider les gens, en échange de petits pourboires, à transporter leurs achats à la maison.

Resting from racing up and down an Andean slope of Silvia, In Colombia’s Cauca Department, on the wheeled board the boys built.
Un moment de répit pour ces deux garçons entre deux descentes d’une rue andine de Silvia, dans le département colombien du Cauca, sur la planche à roulettes de leur fabrication.