Lisa Ross 2

There are mosques in towns all over China, but the most concentrated signs of Islamic belief are found in the western province of Xinjiang. The region is home to most of China’s Uyghurs, a Muslim people linguistically and culturally distinct from the Han Chinese (the ethnic majority in China). The majority of Uyghurs live in the southwest of the province, in oasis cities that skirt the edges of the Taklamakan Desert. This is the setting for Lisa Ross’s Living Shrines of Uyghur China, a book of photographs a decade in the making, whose subject is the shrines to folk saints (in Uyghur, mazar) found throughout the region.

Read More: The Uyghur Shrines of the Taklamakan Desert: An Interview with Lisa Ross