2012 Photo Contest, Arts and Entertainment, Stories, 2nd prize

Saut d'Eau Pilgrimage

Photographer

Emiliano Larizza

Contrasto

16 July, 2011

Worshippers wash themselves at the foot of the Saut d’Eau waterfall. After cleaning their bodies in the sacred water, they will undress, leave their clothes in the river, and climb to the top of the falls.

About

Emiliano Larizza

Emiliano Larizza was born in Rome, Italy, in 1978, and took up photography in 2001. Later, he studied graphics and screenplay writing. Larizza sees art as the support and stimulu...

Background story

Saut d’Eau, Haiti

Worshippers wash themselves at the foot of the Saut d’Eau waterfall. After cleaning their bodies in the sacred water, they will undress, leave their clothes in the river, and climb to the top of the falls. Every year from 14 to 16 July, pilgrims gather to beat drums, dance, invoke spirits, and wash themselves in the purifying waters of the Saut d’Eau sacred waterfall, in Mirebalais, Haiti. The religious festival combines both Christian and voodoo beliefs, and Saut d’Eau is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is said that the Virgin Mary appeared there on top of a palm tree in the mid-19th century, and also that the grove where the falls are situated is home to loa, deities of African origin. Christian and voodoo beliefs are often intertwined in Haiti.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/30 sec
Focal length
24mm
F-Stop
2.8
ISO
320

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