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Matthieu Paley

Mostly latergrams, assignments and family • Photographer @natgeo etc / Commercial @natgeoimagecollection • Homebase Portugal • Fine Art :

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Wearing Layap woven bamboo hats and Tibetan chuba coats, women from the Laya valley line up before a traditional dance performance at an annual Tshechu. Tshechus are large religious gatherings that take place inside dzong (here in Gasa); they facilitate social bonding among people from remote and spread-out villages. These women travelled by foot from their village. Until the 1980s, the Layap lived in near-complete isolation from the world. Swipe right for a quick social media check-up between dances...

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This scene came with the tapping of rain mixing with distant river sound and the quiet chanting of the shaved-head lama, halfway submerged in this hot spring. I sat there for a while, nursing a bad ankle, taking turns near the hottest spot, feeling shy for pictures when in fact i was making this all up, as so often. Below the Gasa dzong, Bhutan. #hotsprings #holywater #bhutanese #paleyprints

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On our way up to the Laya valley, Bhutan, we gazed up to the Gasa dzong, dwarfed here by Himalayan peaks. A dzong is a type of fortress architecture found mainly in Bhutan and Tibet and serves as a religious, military, administrative and social center. They always stand proud at strategic geographical points - from here we heard chanting coming from inside and so all our plans changed. Traveling is serendipity or nothing, thank you very much.

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Late March, after a @ngphotocamp, I spent a week in Laya, Bhutan’s remotest village. You still need to walk 7 hours from the end of a crazy road, but soon it will reach the village. Electricity arrived few years back and social media is making its way into the fabric of life much like in the rest of the Himalayas (the world!) and is affecting culture. The brand Supreme is a huge hit, brought in by popular Korean soap opera - I have a whole series. It’s this strange/fascinating big world salad like anywhere else. Here Gile Sitar (57) came out to see her son Dawa (23). Swipe for some trail encounters (while walking up to the village) including a walking closet, another Supreme girl helping her grand mother and a cool couple returning home, Kile Zam and Pema Tson, names that sing to my ears. @natgeo assignment #supreme #changingculture #mountainculture #himalayanculture #bhutanculture #supremenyc #supremeclothing @supremenewyork

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Oddball of a sister squeaching brother with love. Vrang village, Tajikistan. #lovehate

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Kachura (open edition, 80x60cm) I In 1999, out of NYC, @paleyography and I volunteered to teach english in Kachura, a little village in the Karakoram, Pakistan. It hasn’t changed much. We would get trouts from that tiny lake near our home. Mareile stands on a rock, floating fairy. We thought we would stay few months, we ended up being there for a year, trekking all around Baltistan. Have you read “Where the Indus is young ” by Dervla Murphy? Great read. Last days: we are doing a 50% discount on ALL open editions prints (including that image) during this month of MAY, see link in my profile! #paleyprints

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Kumtag (Open edition, 75 x 60cm) I In 2016, @paleyography and I took a sabbatical year from Turkey, homeschooled our kids while on the road, bought a van in India and went across China by train. It was a special time that allowed me to photograph yet not miss my family. No regrets there. It was life changing for my boys (5 and 10 then) too, they gain so much confidence. Here, showing too much confidence thinking they can just head out across the Taklamakan desert in western China. 🐫 🐫 Last days: we are doing a 50% discount on ALL open editions prints (including that image) during this month of MAY, see link in my profile! #paleyprints

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Pegich (Open edition, 80 x 60cm) I Pegich kept circling the fire, busy as she was, mending the fire, preparing diner. The wife of Er Ali Boi, she was named after the Wakhi village she was born in, a week walk down the valley. Most Afghan Kyrgyz woman would have their blouse decorated with shiny pretty things gathered over the years,as well as old family heirlooms. We are doing a 50% discount on ALL open editions prints (including that image) during this month of MAY, see link in my profile! #paleyprints

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Tella Bu II (Open Edition 50 x 40 cm) I Evening, Tella Bu and friends have just returned the bleating young lambs to their mothers; too cold for lambs to go out with the herd in winter, they are kept indoors for the first few weeks. Now the Kyrgyz daughters come hide from the wind in their mum’s skirts and listen to the gossip of the day, something about wolves attacking yaks. We are doing a 50% discount on ALL open editions prints (including that image) during this month of MAY, see link in my profile! #paleyprints

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Tsast Uul (Open Edition, 80x60cm) I Early morning, head out of the tent and greeted by this. We had just climbed Tsast Uul, following 2 months on foot across Mongolia. Back in 1998, with @paleyography We are doing a 50% discount on ALL open editions prints (including that image) during this month of MAY, see link in my profile! #paleyprints

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Abena (open edition) I Proudly, Abena shows me her home made dress. Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan. We are doing a 50% discount on ALL open editions prints (including that image) during this month of MAY, see link in my profile! #paleyprints

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Ato (open edition) I Portrait of Ato Mohammed, on 6th September 2017, at the hot spring near Sherk village. I was returning to the Wakhan corridor, on assignment for @natgeo, trekking across the Pamir and Karakoram mountains into Pakistan alongside writer Paul Salopek. Paul’s @outofedenwalk project is fascinating; he is retracing the ancient path of human migration, walking across the world and started in Ethiopia 7 years ago. He is currently in India approaching the Burmese border; of course all on foot... reporting at boot level! We are doing a 50% discount on ALL open editions prints (including that image) during this month of MAY, see link in my profile! #paleyprints

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