The Photographer and the Cañar

St. Anthony Day Parade

St. Anthony Day Parade

In preparation for my trip, I am reading Judy Blankenship’s excellent Cañar: A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador. Although the text is excellent, what impressed me the most were Judy’s photographic portraits in black and white of the Cañar villagers she and her husband Michael got to know in the time they spent in the indigenous Andean area some two hours north of Cuenca. Unfortunately, these portraits must be well protected, because I was unable to hijack any of them to show you. (I guess you’ll just have to get your hands on the book.)

Below is one of Judy’s pictures in black and white of the Carnaval parade in Curreucu:

Carnaval Parade in Curreucu

Carnaval Parade in Curreucu

Although Judy Blankenship is not a professionally trained ethnologist, she could have fooled me. Her description of marriage, entrada (betrothal), funeral, and other rituals makes for delightful reading—not to mention her photography workshops for indigenous women and even a few nuns. Below is a photograph of the author:

Judy Blankenship

Judy Blankenship

At this point, I have not read anything else by her; but I do believe it would be worth hunting down some of her other work, most especially her photographs.