I took this portrait at a wholesale spice factory in Fort Cochin, India (in the state of Kerala, one of the world’s ancient spice capitals). This woman kindly answered a few of my questions (through an interpreter), and I learned that she, along with 2 other ladies in this massive warehouse, were sorting piles and piles of ginger into big, medium and small sizes.
For their work they were paid about .50 US cents an hour. As I was leaving, my Indian friend suggested I give her a bit of money for letting me take her picture; not having a clue what “a bit” was, I gave her the Indian rupee equivalent of $5.
She smiled quietly, bowed her head slightly and went back to her work.
Photographed: October 22, 2007
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