All posts by Rob Sims

I am a free-spirited vagabond who travels and lives on the road in a pickup and 29-foot RV. My wife and I sold our stuff in a big rummage sale, put our few keepsakes in storage, and moved out of the big house and took to the open road. Our stories are posted as Mileposts on the home page. Thanks for riding along!

Dominican Carnival

Milepost 2-27-13  Okay, I now have almost 300 photos edited from my winter in the Dominican Republic, and I’m about to start compiling the Photo Journal, the coffee table book that has been the object of this cultural project.

  But I need your help.  I feel that I have a working knowledge of the culture from living there for extended periods of time, but I’ve been stumped by a couple of things and would like to have my readers help me gain some background information on these things before I begin on the book.  My goal is to have the book ready by the end of April.

  Here’s one of my puzzles:  While shooting the Carnaval Parade in the town of Samana, I photographed some guys who were covered with oil – at least I think it was oil.  I touched the one guy and sure enough I ended up with a black smudge that I had to stop and clean off before handling my camera any further.

These guys were part of the Carnaval parade in Samana, Dominican Republic.
These guys were part of the Carnaval parade in Samana, Dominican Republic.

  Besides the oily guys in this entourage, there were also a guy with his hands bound in cuffs, a “tyrant” behind them flogging them with a branch, and they were taking donations with a big can and a bag.

  What is the back story on this tradition?  What do these guys represent?  If some of you would do some research and link me to the information, I’d be very thankful.  If you come up with some good stuff, I’ll mention you as a contributing researcher in the book.

  Email me or make a comment here on the blog with the links.  My email is: rasims@juno.com

  Thank you!

Oh, here’s the link to my online-store and photo gallery that has 275 photos from the Dominican Repubic:  http://simsshotsphotography.zenfolio.com/p391431575

Make a donation quick before these guys try to hug you!
Make a donation quick before these guys try to hug you!

 Update:  Okay, folks, I’ve had some people help me out with some great resources.  It turns out that Los Africanos pictured here are representing the original African slaves who were brought to the Dominican Republic and became part of the Dominican heritage.  They take donations from bystanders who don’t want to be hugged by them!

Here are a few more photos from the Carnaval parade in Samana:

Los Tainos, the re-enactment of the original indigenous Indians.
Los Tainos, the re-enactment of the original indigenous Indians.
Los Tainos, the weary warriors after their dance through the streets.
Los Tainos, the weary warriors after their dance through the streets.

See lots more photos at my galleries: http://simsshotsphotography.zenfolio.com/p391431575

Fisherboys

Milepost 1-23-13  Even the young boys contribute to the family business of supplying seafood for the table or the nearby market. They use a single fishing line wrapped around a plastic water bottle and expertly ply the waters from shore. It’s a slow and methodical mode of operation, but it works. Sometimes. I was impressed with the patience and talent with which these boys worked, and without any supervision; their dads and uncles were out on the ocean after all, bringing in the bigger stuff.

The neighbors have become familiar with my presence by now and seem to enjoy finding photos opps for me; I have been invited to shoot the local baseball games, the school, and many families and their small family businesses. I’m getting more ideas for my upcoming photo journal.

The Young Men and the Sea

Milepost 1-22-13  The Dominican Republic.  I have arrived at my winter seaside home in the Dominican Republic and already met a bunch of the local fishermen. My posts will probably be quite short because the absence of internet; I have to go to town to connect, so here’s a photo of the guys dragging their boat out of the sea in the later afternoon. This process is repeating every day as the men leave every morning for a day on the ocean – usually two guys in each boat – and then return with their catch in the late afternoon. They have to recruit a crew to move the boat each time.

More later.

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