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Armenia



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High Plains Drifters
Photograph by Alexandra Avakian

On a chilly July day on Aragats mountain, a Yezidi woman bakes unleavened bread on an iron skillet. A semi-nomadic Kurdish people, many Yezidis wait out the winter in villages before packing their tents and herding their sheep and goats up to the lush mountain plains to graze. Originally from the border regions between Iraq and Turkey, the Yezidis constitute Armenia's largest ethnic minority, about 2 percent of the population. Yet their religion—a mixture of pagan, Islamic, and Christian elements—remains quite secretive, says photographer Alex Avakian. "Trying to speak with them about their beliefs," she says, "is like squeezing water from a stone."

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS 1N
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia
Lens: 20-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/30 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Very cold and cloudy
Time of Day: Morning
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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