2008 Photo Contest, Arts and Entertainment, Stories, 3rd prize

Cristina Garcia Rodero

Magnum Photos

01 January, 2006

A young man is covered in earth to help exorcise bad spirits during a María Lionza rite. The folk religion of María Lionza has one of the largest followings of any sect in Venezuela. The cult is a blend of African, indigenous and Roman Catholic beliefs, and is popular across all strata of society. María Lionza is revered as a goddess of nature, love, peace and harmony, and followers believe she still lives on Montana de Sorte together with many important spirits. Devotees travel to the mountain to pay homage to her and commune with the spirit world.

About the photographer

Cristina Garcia Rodero

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