Girl in Gold
Fanja at 'Eid Al-Adha, 1998: This girl in her elaborate -- but thoroughly traditional -- gold head piece was not
too sure she wanted her photograph taken, though she was too curious to hide her face.
Fanja Boy with Rifle
Fanja at 'Eid Al-Adha 1998: This young man approached me on his own
for me to photograph him. Most likely it was because he was clearly very proud to have been permitted to carry
a rifle around like many of the adult males attending the 'Eid Al-Adha festivities in Fanja, a small town in the
shadow of the Jebel Akhdar not far from the Capital Area.
Girl from Fanja
Somehow, this little girl found a quiet, wistful moment amid the color,
the activity, and the noise of the celebration in Fanja.
Making an Entrance
This lovely woman and her daughter caught my
not only because of their beauty, but because the
entrance they made was nothing short of regal.
Boy and his Horn
This little boy was carrying one of the oryx
horns, which are used as musical instruments
at the 'Eid celebrations each year.
The incessant beating of drums during the festivities lend a decidedly
African air to the event. The din didn't appear to affect this little boy, however, who was observing the goings-on
from the safety of his father's arms.
Sword Dance at 'Eid in Fanja
At the 'Eid celebrations in Fanja, there is always a ritual sword dance
accompanied by drumming and chanting.
These boys were part of the ad hoc "orchestra"
of drummers and horn players that are always
present during 'Eid celebrations in Fanja. The horn
is made from the horn of an Arabian oryx, which is
idigenous to Oman.
We've not been very lucky with visits from relatives. One who
did come, my brother-in-law, found himself the center of atten-
tion of these young Omani boys at the 'Eid celebrations in
Fanja. He was as much of a curiosity for them as they were
The Parade disbands
This group of men is ending their march up, around,
and through the old Fort, which is a part of the 'Eid
Boys Looking On
These little boys were sitting along one of the old
mud-brick walls of the fort at Fanja watching the
'Eid festivities progress.
View of Fanja from the Fort
A little boy was sitting on the edge of
the precipice atop which Fanja Fort sits.
The main town lies on the other side of the
An Old Man of Fanja
This tiny, wizened man is always seen at the
celebrations. This is just one of several photographs
I have taken of him over the years.
Hennaed Hands of an Old Man
The use of henna is an age-old Arab tradition. Whereas
women adorn themselves with intricate designs, men
simply apply it to the palms of their hands as a means of
warding off the ravages of arthritis.
This is the view from the 'Eid Grounds at the Fanja Fort; the town is
to the left, outside the view of the camera. The green is from the thousands of date palms that grow in the valley
floor. The mountains in the background are typical Oman: rough, austere, and primeval.
In Oman, the bulls do the fighting and none is killed. Two bulls are
brought to the center, a rope tied to one rear leg, and the bulls are goaded to butt heads. The first animal to
go down on its knees, loses. Barka, a little coastal town to the NW of the Capital Area where this shot was taken,
is a major center of the sport.
This old man is watching and waiting until his animal
goes into the fray.
Mosque in Al-Khuwair
This fine, new mosque sits serenely alongside Sultan Qaboos Highway
as it snakes its way through Al-Khuwair in the Capital Area.
There is a centuries-old tradition of silvermaking in Oman. These men
work their trade in Rustaq, making "khanjars", the ceremonial dagger and the belts and sheaths that go
with it. The khanjar is an essential part of formal, traditional Omani dress for men.
Khanjar Craftsman in Rustaq
This silversmith was working on a "khanjar", the
traditional dagger that is an essential part of an Omani
man's dress on formal occasions. Both the scabbard
and belt are made of intricately woven silver wire and filigree.
This blacksmith is still a needed and valued member of his society.
Among other things, they are called upon to make metal gates for the walls that surround every Omani house.
Man in Doorway - Muttruh
This young man was just stepping outside his house when I walked by
in an old neighborhood in Muttruh. This carved door is made from the wood of date palms.
Papaya trees in Wadi Beni Kharous.
Oman is not all rocks and sand as this shot will attest. This date and
papaya grove is high up Wadi Beni Kharous in the shadow of the Jebel Al-Akhdar, some 120 km west and south of the