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Gallery: The homes of polygamous towns

Published May 2, 2014 7:26 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

What does a home belonging to someone in The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints look like? Talena Sanders knows.

Sanders began photographing in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., in February 2012 for a graduate project at Duke University. She hoped to photograph the people and their style of dress. When Sanders realized the community's famed lack of hospitality toward outsiders made that impossible, she turned to something else: architecture.

"The home is the domestic center of life," Sanders wrote in an email to The Tribune, "but as Colorado City is an incorporated town, the homes along the city streets remain part of the public realm. I wondered at first about the condition of the homes — unfinished additions, broken windows, paint that needed updating years ago, half-built houses.

"The home is often a symbol of their faith in Warren Jeffs. As he predicts doomsday so often, letting their homes go is a sign to the community that they're on board with his prophecies."

Here, with Sanders permission, is a gallery of her photographs.

—Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @tribunepolygamy