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New York City-based travel and documentary photographer Julien McRoberts lives by the motto “have bag… will travel.” For her vibrant project on New Mexico, she explores the stunning diversity of its population, documenting everything from Day of the Dead celebrations to the adobe architecture of Sante Fe. Through her lens, the state emerges as colorful and festive realm where modernity and traditional rituals coexist.

McRoberts explores sun-drenched Native American buildings dating back to Spanish colonization in the 17th century and follows the thread of history into the 21st century with the painting of horses in Nambe Pueblo. For centuries, the bond between man and equine companion was honored by the painting of horses, with certain symbols meant to represent various virtues and strengths of the war horse. Hand prints on the flank, for instance, sometimes signified a horse who had courageously protected his rider in battle.

Here, McRoberts showcases and honors both the native and the Hispanic culture of New Mexico. In addition to indigenous rituals, she documents Catholic celebrations. We observe fantastically outfitted dancers commemorating the Virgin Guadalupe, and a Matachine dancer tells the story of the Spanish missionaries landing in the Americas. Throughout her work, McRoberts envelopes us in the narratives of New Mexico, revealing the wondrous juxtapositions of the fascinating state.

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All photos featured in this post can be found on Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Offset is an exclusive category channel partner on Feature Shoot.

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