Shakbak-Ata Zoroastrian Temple, Shakbak-ata Canyon, Manghstau Region, Kazakhstan
I traveled 3,295 km (2,047 miles) from Almaty, Kazakhstan to the edge of the Caspian sea to make this image of an ancient Zoroastrian temple. The rituals are no longer practiced there so I brought candles to light the inside and show respect for their practice of using fire as a focal point of Zoroastrian rituals.
“Zoroastrian places of worship are sometimes called fire temples. Each fire temple contains an altar with an eternal flame that burns continuously and is never extinguished.”
Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. It was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago.
For 1000 years Zoroastrianism was one of the most powerful religions in the world. It was the official religion of Persia (Iran) from 600 BCE to 650 CE.
While I was making this image a woman appeared at the entrance, came in and announced that she and her family were there to honor a relative who had died and was buried nearby in what the Kazakh’s call “the city of the dead”. She invited me to join them in honoring her relative. She turned and walked out.
A print of this image will be shown this Saturday, June 30, 2018, 11 am to 4 pm as part of an exhibit exploring the concept of “Art within Architecture”.
Eastep Photography Gallery, 1338 Central Avenue, Sarasota Florida 34236.
If you are unable to come to the studio Saturday but would like to buy a print contact me about sizes and prices: WayneEastep@gmail.com