Photo from Morguefile

For thousands of years, the Mglingu of Nili in the Partha archipelago have offered prayers invoking the seasonal rains (and snows in the mountains) that have allowed their island to flourish. As part of their prayer cycles and attendant rituals, the tribe constructs totemic blooms of straw mounted on fibrous stems to mimic the desired floral fertility they are praying for. These are shown above.

This year, due to rising sea levels that threaten the island, as well as continued droughts, the tribal shamen have advised substituting pieces of giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) growing on the offshore corals for the straw, thus “killing two birds with one stone,” an expression that the Mglingu dislike intensely.

for Sunday Photo Fiction

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