Moharram in Mahmudabad
Taken in 2009, the following photographs chronicle the final ten days of the mourning period in the village of Mahmudabad located just outside of Lucknow in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. They feature the various rituals as practiced by the family of Mohammad Amir Khan, who is the Raja, or prince of Mahmudabad. These practices include majalis, or religious gatherings where a speaker reads a sermon to the audience and recounts events from the Battle of Karbala, various types of prayers, the setting up of drink stands called Sabeel, and also processions known in the Urdu language as juloos. The tenth and final day, Ashura, is the culmination of these practices wherein a giant paper and tin-foil replica of Imam Hussein’s Shrine in Karbala, Iraq is carried out to a field in the village to be buried, a practice which is repeated each year.
Captions are provided with each photograph for background information on the specific practices.