A Celebration Of The Sacred Animal By Daniel Naudé

For his project ‘Sightings Of The Sacred‘, photographer Daniel Naudé set out to shoot a series of photographs depicting cattle, which are considered as sacred in certain countries, such as India, Uganda and Madagascar.

In order to create the series, Naudé visited herds in tribes for whom animal worship is integral: the Bahima’s Ankole cattle in Uganda, and the Bara’s Zebu cattle in Madagascar as well as the Brahmin’s culture harvest and cattle festival Mattu Pongal. The series of photographs shows animals with majestic horns, glorified with elaborate decorations and set against the natural landscape.

A description about the series reads: “In many respects, this tradition faded in the 20th century because there were very few lands and creatures left to classify as the world had been mapped and the animals of the world named. The heightened presence of the animals in his images allows us to experience the awe and wonder that accompanied the reception of images and reports of exotic animals when they reached Europe in previous centuries.” Naudé is based in Cape Town, from where he focuses on documentary photography.

"In many respects, this tradition faded in the 20th century because there were very few lands and creatures left to classify as the world had been mapped and the animals of the world named."
Ankole 15. Lake Mburo district, Nyabushozi, Western Region, Uganda, 2012

Ankole 15. Lake Mburo district, Nyabushozi, Western Region, Uganda, 2012

Ankole 17. Lake Mburo district, Nyabushozi, Western Region, Uganda, 2012

Ankole 17. Lake Mburo district, Nyabushozi, Western Region, Uganda, 2012

Group of Ankole cattle. Kiruhura district, Western Region, Uganda, 2012.

Group of Ankole cattle. Kiruhura district, Western Region, Uganda, 2012

Zebu 1. Cattle market, Ambalavao, Haute Matsiatra, Madagascar, 2013

Zebu 1. Cattle market, Ambalavao, Haute Matsiatra, Madagascar, 2013

Sacrificial tree. Royal hill of Ambohimanga, Antananarivo, Analamanga, Madagascar, 2013

Sacrificial tree. Royal hill of Ambohimanga, Antananarivo, Analamanga, Madagascar, 2013

Zebu 4. Outside Ambohimahasoa, Haute Matsiatra, Madagascar, 2013

Zebu 4. Outside Ambohimahasoa, Haute Matsiatra, Madagascar, 2013

Mattu Pongal 7. Kananthampoondi, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

Mattu Pongal 7. Kananthampoondi, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

Mattu Pongal 6. Kannakurkkai district, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014.

Mattu Pongal 6. Kannakurkkai district, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

Mattu Pongal 28. Kanakkandal district, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014.

Mattu Pongal 28. Kanakkandal district, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

Krishna playing the flute with Nandi. Kolundampattu, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

Krishna playing the flute with Nandi. Kolundampattu, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

All images © Daniel Naudé, courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

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