Daily Archives: 17.12.2012

The Priest Speaks

Starting the fire. Marla ceremony, Mari-El. May 2012.The Ensai souvenir shop was, it assured passersby, the home of authentic Mari souvenirs. Inside was a jungle of multicoloured fabric, giddying geometric patterns of whites and reds, traditional costumes of the kind usually kept in dusty display cases of the national museum. Yoshkar-Ola, (“the red city,“) is the capital of Russia’s autonomous Republic of Mari El. Heavily forested and sparsely populated, it is a nondescript, provincial town, which, as I had discovered on my first visit in 2011, was increasingly defying description. Continue reading

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