Samarkand cleans the house of evil spirits by putting grains of spandr on top of hot amber. Spandr (in Wakhi language) is a local mountain herb called esfand in English. Its seeds have seen continual use for thousands of years in the rites of many cultures. All over the remote mountain world, from Buddhists temples to Sufi shrines, I have witnessed rituals associated with similar plants like the burning of Juniper started long ago by shamans of Siberia and American Indians.
On my sixth expedition to the Wakhan corridor, shooting a story for National Geographic on the Out of Eden walk. A 4-weeks trek from Afghanistan into Pakistan, across the Pamir and Karakoram mountainswith writer Paul Salopek who is walking across the world on foot to retrace the ancient path of human migration.
Format: Archival print, printed with pigment ink on acid free Hahnemühle paper.
Sorry to disturb your virtual travels. If you would like to stay informed about Matthieu Paley’s work, upcoming exhibitions and new projects, please take a moment to sign up for our newsletter. Thanks.