The Women of Kashmir

I just returned from Kashmir, a magnificent region of India.

Referred to as a tropical paradise in old literature, there is no wonder why it has been the subject of many disputes and is now divided between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir is surrounded by Himalayan Mountain Ranges whose rivers have created large, beautiful lakes. I was so taken by the gorgeous scenery and by the warmth, openness and beauty of the people, who have gone through many conflicts.

I wasn’t sure what I would experience in Kashmir and found the people to be so open, gentle, endearing, and ready to embrace a new, modern society.

Kashmir is over 93% Muslim. Many of the women wear headscarves, some cover their faces totally; some walk around without any head coverings. All of the women were as curious of me as I was of them. They welcomed me, shared their stories &#8212 some surprisingly spoke English very well and even invited me into their homes for tea.

I was fascinated by their culture and their tumultuous history but I left hopeful for a new, peaceful and good future. I hope my portraits help express the heart and the soul of these interesting women.

People ask me why I travel to all these different places. For me, meeting women from different parts of the world opens my eyes and my heart to women’s struggles and strengthens the belief that we are all connected.


Three women in burkas

Beautiful eyes behind a burka

Woman in burka in mosque

Woman in black and red burka

Eyes obscured by burka

Woman in headscarf

Woman in headscarf looking off camera

Woman outdoors in headscarf

Smiling woman in red scarf

Girl in burka behind notebook

Enigmatic smile under headscarf

Two women in white coverings

Woman in light blue coverings

Woman with bracelets

Woman in front of blue stripes

Woman holding goat

Two women and girl

Woman in red scarf

Two women in front of green wall

Woman in red in front of shelves


  1. Hi Michele, These are wonderful pictures. Somehow you are able to capture the essence of the women in their eyes. I feel like I know them when I look in their eyes.

    Great works of art.

    Sharon Hansen

  2. Michele,

    Simply stunning images! Michele, I always love the honesty and directness that is so prevalent throughout your work. I am there…you take me to places I want to go and at times fear to go. You amaze me!

  3. Michele,
    If the “eyes are the window to the soul”, then you have seen and shared the soul of these women through your images.

  4. Dear Michele,
    Your photo’s capture the beauty In these women’s faces,
    their expressions & the mystique in their eyes tell a story.
    As always the color of their clothes add to the beauty of
    your amazing photo’s.

  5. Hi Michele,
    As usual, another excellent presentation. Recognizing some of your subjects makes viewing your images even more enjoyable.
    Keep up the great work.

    Bob Mandich

  6. Actually Kashmir is neither part of India nor part of Pakistan but Independent Country. …….temporarily occupied by India through illegal possession.

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