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Through her lens

Photographer gives stunning look into Indian village where youngest daughters rule

By WITW Staff on December 20, 2015

Berlin’s Karolin Klüppel spent nine months over two years in the northeast Indian village Mawlynnong, where about 500 people from the indigenous Khasi tribe still practice matrilineal traditions. Her stunning portraits, published in National Geographic, show the community’s girls posed with artifacts of their culture, a village she described as “unbelievably clean, calm, and peaceful.” Khasi women hold the power, which is passed from mother to daughter, as is the mother’s surname. The youngest daughters, called “khadduh,” are the ones who inherit property, and husbands move into their wives homes. The image series shows the “powerful, self-assured” girls at home with props that speak to their surroundings and customs, like a shot of a 12-year-old with cow legs.

The purpose of Klüppel’s series was to show cultures “that are different from the patriarchal world we live in—and I want people to question that system,” she said.

Read the full story and see the photos on National Geographic.