In the Mexico state Oaxaca, individuals assigned male who identify as female are adored and viewed as carriers of good fortune. Called “muxes,” these individuals have a culture and legendary history all their own. The story passed down is a magical one: the patron saint of the town Juchitán, named San Vincente Ferrer, is said to have dropped the muxes out of his weathered and hole-filled pockets when he travelled on a holy mission. 

 

 

In a series titled We Are Princesses in a Land of Machos, the photographer Nicola “Ókin” Frioli highlights the spiritual power of the muxes within the context of the surrounding Mexican culture, one that he explains glorifies the masculine and is otherwise defined by traditional and narrow views on gender roles. The muxes are shot in vivid color and resolution, underscoring the intricacies of their daily lives, which include participation in traditionally feminine activities like sewing, cooking, and party-planning. Frioli’s images are mesmerizing, capturing the beautifully subtle and direct gazes of their subjects. With striking earnestness and great care, each allows the viewer to witness quiet and intimate scenes within the home. While the individuality of each sitter shines through, Frioli is also able to convey the spiritual and cultural power of the muxes, who sit with transcendently wise and transfixing expressions in elaborately embroidered gowns. 

 

 

Thanks to Feature Shoot

Images via Feature Shoot

Tagged in: portraiture, Photography, oazaca, nicola okin frioli, muxes, mexico, lgbt, juchitan, gender   

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