A man rows home in the evening, with his nets and his catch of Nile Perch, in a papyrus boat called a tanqwa on Lake Tana, just outside of Bahir Dar.
Carrying Papyrus, near Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 2009
A man carrying a large bundle of papyrus, which has been collected out in the lake and transported by tanqwa to get to his village, outside of Bahir Dar. Papyrus sees a variety of uses in the Lake Tana area, and is sold in large bundles like the one this man carries. The use of the stick to transport large loads like this is very typical, and the stick is an ever-present companion to a rural Amhara man areas.
Bundling Papyrus Stalks, Abbay Village, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 2009
Papyrus is an ubiquitous commodity in the Lake Tana region, and sees a variety of uses. Stalks are cut from the plentiful stands on the shores and islands of Lake Tana, and brought to Abbay village, where they are made into local reed boats (called tanqwa) sold for a variety of other uses. Here, a man bundles some cut stalks for sale.
Water-bearers, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009
These girls were carrying water from the “Queen of Sheba’s Bath,” a reservoir that has been in use since ancient times, to their homes. Before the advent of cheap plastic goods, local pottery would be used, and in rural areas, one can sometimes still see women and children with large ceramic jugs strapped to their backs in the same fashion as these plastic ones.
The traditional jug is similar to the one I photographed here, in Southern Ethiopia: