Gold 2022 / Book / People

Seasons of Ceremonies: Rites and Rituals In Guatemala and Mexico

  • Photographer
    William Frej
  • Agency / Studio
    William Frej Photography
  • Prizes
    Gold in Book/People, 2nd Place winner in Book

In Mesoamerican villages, a calendar of rites and rituals takes place throughout the year. As documented by the photos in this book, there are beliefs and world views underlying these complex and profound activities, which are done as an essential way of creating connections to the natural forces of the universe. Ritual actors and natural objects are not just symbolic representations, they embody a force of life. Ceremonies such as the ones illustrated here not only unite communities and celebrate the seasons of the year, they help to ensure harmony and health now and for future generations.

I have been photographing indigenous peoples' culture for over forty years, living in Indonesia, Poland, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Afghanistan. My work is represented in numerous public and private collections, and academic institutions throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Asia Pacific Museum in Warsaw, San Francisco Arts Commission, Dumbarton Oaks, Spanish Colonial Museum in Santa Fe and special collections at Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Duke, Notre Dame and the University of New Mexico. My award-winning photo book, MAYA RUINS REVISITED, was published in October 2020.