Lives of water gypsies on Ichhamati

  • Diljan Begum, who has spent 50 years of her life on the boat since her birth, is cooking meal for her family. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    Diljan Begum, who has spent 50 years of her life on the boat since her birth, is cooking meal for her family. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • Anjuman Begum is placing a mattress over the rooftop of their boat for drying in the sun. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    Anjuman Begum is placing a mattress over the rooftop of their boat for drying in the sun. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • Sahera Begum is giving a bath to her son on their boat. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    Sahera Begum is giving a bath to her son on their boat. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • Snake-charming in the bazaar once was the main occupation of the Bede. Now the male river gypsies make a living from fishing while the women hawk clothes or utensils. Rupa Begum, a Bede woman, is no exception. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    Snake-charming in the bazaar once was the main occupation of the Bede. Now the male river gypsies make a living from fishing while the women hawk clothes or utensils. Rupa Begum, a Bede woman, is no exception. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • With no wardrobe, the Bede usually keep their clothes hanging from the ceiling of their boats. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    With no wardrobe, the Bede usually keep their clothes hanging from the ceiling of their boats. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • With no wardrobe, the Bede usually keep their clothes hanging from the ceiling of their boats. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    With no wardrobe, the Bede usually keep their clothes hanging from the ceiling of their boats. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • Uzani Begum is sorting out clothes on her boat. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    Uzani Begum is sorting out clothes on her boat. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • Sirajul Islam has been selling lace ribbons for 20 years. Among the Bede at Taltola Bazar, he is the only person who ekes out a living in this trade. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    Sirajul Islam has been selling lace ribbons for 20 years. Among the Bede at Taltola Bazar, he is the only person who ekes out a living in this trade. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

  • Rupa Begum is combing her daughter’s hair on their boat. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

    Rupa Begum is combing her daughter’s hair on their boat. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi