"Trying to get a baby or a fussy toddler to sit still for a photograph can feel like a herculean task. Luckily, it only takes a second to get the shot. In the nineteenth century, however, it was a different story—particularly when it came to tintype portraits, which required a long exposure.
Photographer Laura Larson’s series, Hidden Mother, presents a survey of nineteenth-century tintype portraits in which the mother of the child was included in the photograph, but obscured.
In some instances, the mother would hold her child, with a cloth or props hiding her from the lens, or she would be painted over by the photographer after the image had been taken. In other examples, the mother is entirely absent from the frame, save for an arm, holding the child in place.
The results are both funny and slightly disturbing. The mother appears as an uncanny presence, Larson writes in a statement. Often, she is swathed in fabric, like a ghost.”
Bhikkhu initiation ceremony
Cutting the hair In countries where Theravada Buddhism predominates, the novice monk initiation ceremony is an important rite of passage for young boys. Conducted when a boy is around 13 years year old, the event includes the offering of gifts to the Buddhist clergy at the temple where the ceremony is held, a feast hosted by the boys family, a formal head shaving ritual, and lots of prostrating by family members to the boy to symbolize the elevation to adulthood and the boy’s new position as a son of Buddha.
The parents gain merit by offering their son to Buddha and the grander the ceremony the more merit they earn. Elaborate ceremonies sometimes last several days and have musical performances, singing and chanting of poems that recall episodes of Buddha’s life.
While the boy’s head is being shaved, he is instructed by an abbot or senior monk to meditate on the action, contemplate its meaning and repeat thing like, “They are of this body, hair of the head, hairs of the body, nails, teeth and skin, which are unclean, abominable, filthy, lifeless and insubstantial.” The hair of a novice monk is considered sacred. It is not allowed to touch the ground and is collected in a cloth spread out by the parents.
After the head is shaved the boy turmeric and saffron powder is rubbed into the scalp and the newly anointed monk is given a robe and sent off to the monetary for several weeks or months. After that time he returns to a normal life.
Shorpy, Kids playing with guns, Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, D.C., 1943.
Child Soldier in the Constitutional Army, Mexico, 1914.
Mom and son watching the mushroom cloud of an atomic test, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1953.
CultureSOUL: *Vintage* Black Ballerinas
1. Doris Patterson’s dance class, Washington D.C, 1948-1949
2. Young dancers, 1959; Flora Robb Dance Studio, Oxnard, CA, 1959.
3. ‘The Black Swan’ - Photo by Luis Castaneda, Miami, FL 1990
Helen Levitt, Untitled (Broken Mirror), NYC, 1940.
Bill Brandt, Children in Sheffield (Gelatin silver print), 1930.
The Park Hill Estate, Sheffield: ‘Streets in the sky’
(via Municipal Dreams)