5.13.11 To Market, Part 3: Woman's Work
Though there are some male purveyors in the markets here in Yogyakarta, the majority of them are women. Many are old, very old, with frail frames, deeply lined faces and tiny, gnarled hands. Others are robust, middle-aged and full of high spirits, greeting a foreigner with a cheery "Hallo, madam!" They are clearly industrious and capable, eking out a living without the benefit of much education, I would imagine. In a city that is 70% Muslin, many women wear the head scarf, the hijab. Most favor traditional batik clothing over Western dress. I was captivated by their faces, their pride, their joyful spirits. I'm careful taking their pictures, though, as I'm aware it can be an imposition. I either ask permission, which is generally granted but often elicits a self-conscious pose; or I try to snap discreetly, which is a bit catch-as-catch-can. Here follows my tribute to these ladies of the market.