Tuesday, July 13, 2010

River Gypsies of Bangladesh

The waterways of Bangladesh are home to nearly 800,000 “river gypsies” or bedey (as they are known locally) that navigate along Bangladesh’s network of over 700 rivers and canals on their hand-constructed bamboo houseboats. This photo documentary depicts the lives of the families I met near Savar, Bangladesh.

As you will see in some of the images, many river dwellers are women. Women are expected to maintain their daily routines of cooking, washing, collecting clean water, and raising a family within the tight confines of a small boat. Not much longer or wider than a typical automobile or minivan, the typical houseboat is small in size, but surprisingly capable of fitting all of a family’s physical possessions onboard.

More of my photographic work can be found at www.ellievanhoutte.com or http://ellievanhouttephotography.tumblr.com/

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