18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Purgatory rituals

The photo was taken at Dasaswamedh Ghat, Varanasi, India. Shaving off one's head has religious symbolism in India. A person has to shave off his/her baby hair. The photo shows a barber shaving a toddler's head who is accompanied by the women of the family. The women looks on the baby while the barber shaves his head. Another way to looks at this photo might be that the woman of the family looks on with hope towards the future of the family's legacy.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Varanasi, India
Copyright: © Uma Sankar Das Bhuyan