About the Ebook
Đạo Mẫu and its ritual, Hầu Đồng were prohibited by the French colonials and by the Ho Chi Minh Socialist regime, but has been subtly encouraged since 2000 when it was officially considered as an ancient indigenous folk religion of Vietnam, and an important cultural heritage.
Tewfic El-Sawy is the only photographer to have photographed Hầu Đồng ceremonies in such depth, and documented the maelstrom of trances, possession, spirit worship, fortune telling and clairvoyance, fashion and pageantry, sacred music and hymns, faith, belief, superstition, the supernatural, nationalism and history that constitute Vietnam’s Đạo Mẫu and its ritual; Hầu Đồng. To the best of his knowledge, there are no other photo book on these ceremonies.
Tewfic is a New York City based freelance photographer specializing in documenting endangered cultures, religious rituals and traditional life-ways of Asia, Latin America and Africa. Known as The Travel Photographer, he also leads photography workshops and expeditions, authors photo books and teaches multimedia and documentary photography. His 170 pages photo book Hầu Đồng: The Spirit Mediums of Vietnam is a seminal documentary on trances, possession, spirit worship, fortune telling, pageantry, sacred music and hymns, faith, superstition, the supernatural, nationalism and history that constitute Vietnam’s indigenous Đạo Mẫu religion. Tewfic is the only non-Vietnamese photographer to have documented this ancient but vibrant tradition in such depth. He also published "The Old Qi Bao Teahouse"; a book of monochromatic photographs of an ancient Shanghai teahouse. He's working on "Chinese Opera of The Diaspora"; a photographic documentation of one of the most ancient art forms.