In the southern province of Asir in Saudi Arabia, a unique tradition has been upheld by the Qahtan tribe for over 2,000 years. Members of the tribe, known as the Flower Men, wear elaborate flower crowns that are highly detailed and adorned with greenery. While flowers are often associated with femininity, these crowns are a symbol of masculinity and a way for the men to express their personalities.

Photographer Omar Reda was captivated by this tradition and traveled to the region to capture the beauty of the Flower Men in his portrait project, “Flower Man.” Despite the tribe’s reputation for being closed off to outsiders, Reda was able to make connections and create a stunning series of portraits that showcase the rich and diverse culture of Saudi Arabia.

Reda’s portraits are pared down and straightforward, allowing viewers to appreciate the intricate details of the crowns. The younger generation of Qahtani men often choose vibrant, colorful flowers that showcase their individual style, while the older generation has a more minimalist approach and incorporates herbs for their medicinal properties. The crowns are a symbol of the tribe’s connection to the land and their appreciation for the natural world.

Reda hopes that his portraits will inspire a deeper appreciation for the flower crown tradition and the Qahtani culture. It’s a reminder that these precious traditions should be respected and honored, especially in a world where globalization threatens to erase the unique customs and practices of indigenous communities.

The Flower Men’s flower crowns are a celebration of masculinity, nature, and tradition. They are a testament to the power of cultural preservation and a reminder of the beauty that can be found in the most unexpected places.

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