"I came across the Cao Dai faith during a month-long trip through Vietnam. I took a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to the Cu Chi Tunnels and a fair trade craft workshop. There are three daily services for the faithful, and my tour arrived just before the midday service." Georgina Friend — traveller, photographer, designer

“Cao Dai, meaning High Tower, is a religious faith that comprises elements of Taoism, Catholicism, Buddhism and Confucianism, with patron saints Buddha, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Pericles, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Su Yat Sun and Victor Hugo. The faith was founded in 1926 after the French Administrator Ngo Van Chieu took part in a séance and received a message from a deity.

The hierarchy of popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests are each represented through different colours and robes. The Buddhist branch of dignitaries is dressed in yellow, the Taoists in azure, and the Confucians in red. Here is a sample of what I saw that day.”

About the Photographer

Georgina Friend

Georgina Friend was born in the tropical jungles of Papua New Guinea and was educated in Far North Queensland. She is a Brisbane-based graphic designer, artist and photographer/writer who contributes to a number of New Guinea publications. Georgina works in advocacy and community development as a member of the Leniata Legacy, which has a particular focus on empowerment of women and preventing violence against women in her birth country. Her favourite photographic subjects are the Indigenous people from Papua New Guinea, South East-Asia and Northern Australia. Her work with nature focuses on botanical & underwater imagery, with particular emphasis on orchids, nudibranchs, sea stars, flatworms and 'the smaller creatures that often go unnoticed.