Art And Culture

Ancient Marriage Tradition Kept Alive in Photo Collection

Ancient Marriage Tradition Kept Alive in Photo Collection
Ancient Marriage Tradition Kept Alive in Photo Collection

A collection of photos by Mohamad-Reza Baharnaz, contemporary photographer, will be presented at the Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF). The collection ‘Aroos Baroon’ (accompanying the bride to the groom’s house, an ancient tradition observed in wedding ceremonies) is published as a book of photos.

The photos are taken from 70 wedding ceremonies of different Iranian tribal groups. Baharnaz started the collection 15 years ago and participated in the ceremonies as a photographer. “In many ceremonies people were merely imitating the customs and the original traditions were ignored,” he said, quoted by Honaronline.

‘Aroos Baroon’ in 256 pages also includes photos of dances, local games and sport competitions such as wrestling and horse riding. Baharnaz himself published the photo book which has been distributed by Yassavoli, Aban and Guya publications.

The photographer believes that wedding ceremonies show different perspectives of rural and nomadic lives because people change their attire, routine activities and even their temperament. “I chose this theme for my photos because I found that weddings are unique dimensions of life. So I focused the collection on this theme.”

Baharnaz has started working on the second volume of his collection, ‘Damad Baroon’ (a tradition, similar to ‘Aroos Baroon’). “This custom is only common in Hormozgan Province,” he said, adding that the second photo book is not specific to grooms and other photos of wedding ceremonies are also included.

  Book on Nowruz

His other new photo collection ‘Nowruz’ (New Year ceremony in Iran) will be published in summer 2015. Baharnaz started taking photos for the collection 6 years ago. ‘Nowruz’ illustrates different customs related to the New Year (which falls on March 21 every year). Although the work is not completed, the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) has offered to support the publication. “If no help is received I’ll publish the collection by this summer-end,” he said.

Mohammad-Reza Baharnaz, born in 1954, started photography in 1979. He has won several awards in domestic and international photo festivals, including the first place in 1988 in the UNESCO Photography Competition and second place in the same contest in 1990 and 1994; and the gold medallion at Asahi Shimbun photography competition in Japan for three consecutive years (1991, 1992 and 1993).

‘Eternal Drifters of Plains & Mountains’(Sorush publication), ‘Nomads of Iran’ (Yassavoli publication), ‘Migration’ (Sooreh publication) and ‘Iranian Nomads, Migrating with Swallows’ (Guya publication) are among the previously published photo collections on Iranian nomadic lives.