Bronze 2017 People / Culture

The Descent of the Ukukus

  • Prize
    Bronze in People/Culture
  • Photographer
    Chris Roche

High in the Andes at an altitude of over 5000meters a band of 'Ukukus' celebrate the festival of Qoyllur Rit'i which is a Quechua word for Shining Snow. Following a mixture of Catholic and Inca rituals, thousands of pilgrims ascend up to the holy glaciers carrying large crosses where they perform initiation ceremonies before descending again at dawn. These images form part of a long term project 'Devotion' that explores different faith traditions around the world, encompassing Tibet, India, Iran, Ethiopia, Indonesia, the North Caucasus and Peru.