Photographs from De long en large Ladakh by Jean Mansion - Édition Findakly. Copyright Lise Mansion

Sylvie Lasserre

It is ten in the morning when the shaman and I set out on the snowy paths to visit Zo'hro, the patient who organizes the ritual. Our steps slip off the icy path. We follow the river dry in silence before reaching the collective taxi station after a half-hour walk in the snow. Ten more minutes and we reach our destination. In the courtyard, a sheep waits for its time, tied by a lanyard to a tree. The patient, in her forties, welcomes us. She seems very concerned. A young girl invites us into the living room. Five other women are already present, very cheerful, unlike Zo'hro who seems to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. Other guests arrive one by one, settle in, exchange news. Playful conversations are going well. We are served tea while waiting for the arrival of the late arrivals. It is eleven in the morning when the shaman grabs her tambourine and sings her song, the voices are silent. The ritual will last all day.

The author is Sylvie Lasserre
The shots were taken in 2008 and 2015

All rituals were observed in an area corresponding to the former Sogdiana, which straddles Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.