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Joo Peter – Mwohni

Profile Joo Peter Live Encounters Magazine June 2017Download PDF here

Mwohni, Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, photographs by Joo Peter

Joachim Peter is a Visual artist and writer based in Southwest Germany, presently working on documentary & travel photography in Asia. He loves to explore and combine all arts in his work. Joo has studied Arts; painting and graphics, worked for theatre (designing stage, costume and light) , did some work for television and film, went into teaching. He writes essays and a blog in his native tongue, German, for he feels his language combines philosophy and humour. www.joo-peter.photoshelter.com

I visited Bhaktapur in 2011, four years before the massive earthquake in 2015, to witness the Mwohni Festival (Newar) aka Durga Puja and Dashain at the end of September: over nine days nine incarnations of goddess Durga are celebrated. Newar culture is famous for blending Hindu and tantric Buddhist traditions.

I watched buffalo sacrifices being performed at temple shrines and public places for the community as well as families sacrificing goats in small streets. This was followed by a trance dance with swords by priests at the Navadurga temple.

Since the earthquake in 2015, the proud Nepalese have worked hard to rebuild their sacred places and homes. The following photographs are glimpse of the fascinating Newar Culture.

01. Public sacrificing of buffalos. © Joo Peter

01. Public sacrificing of buffalos. © Joo Peter

02. Children watching the beheading of a buffalo. © Joo Peter

02. Children watching the beheading of a buffalo. © Joo Peter

03. Children watching the beheading of a buffalo. © Joo Peter

03. Children watching the beheading of a buffalo. © Joo Peter

04. Goat slaughtered to appease the Goddess. © Joo Peter

04. Goat slaughtered to appease the Goddess. © Joo Peter

05. Head of buffalo offered to the Goddess. © Joo Peter

05. Head of buffalo offered to the Goddess. © Joo Peter

08. Floral offering for the temple. © Joo Peter

08. Floral offering for the temple. © Joo Peter

06. Shrine © Joo Peter

06. Shrine © Joo Peter

07. Offering for the Goddess © Joo Peter

07. Offering for the Goddess © Joo Peter

09. Floral offerings for the shrine. © Joo Peter

09. Floral offerings for the shrine. © Joo Peter

10. Trance dance with swords by priests at  the Navadurga temple. © Joo Peter

10. Trance dance with swords by priests at the Navadurga temple. © Joo Peter

11. Oil lamps to light up holy places and homes. © Joo Peter

11. Oil lamps to light up holy places and homes. © Joo Peter

© Joo Peter