Before They Pass Away: Powerful Images of Vanishing Indigenous People Groups

Thursday, February 13, 2014 | | |
In a world that is rapidly developing and merging each day, it is more important than ever to preserve the unique traditions of indigenous cultures across the globe. One photographer embarked on a worldwide journey to document vanishing indigenous people groups. With the goal to document every existing indigenous culture, British photographer Jimmy Nelson packed his 50 year old plate-film camera and traveled away.

Jimmy grew accustom to traveling all over the world from a young age. His father was an oil engineer and by the time Jimmy was seven, he had been to more countries than people typically get to in a lifetime. As a young man, he walked across the length of Tibet and it was this trip that began his career in documentary photography.

The Mursi, Ethiopia.
During his journey, Jimmy trekked to Siberia, the Ecuadorian Amazon, India, Papua New Guinea and beyond. He spent time with the people he visited and got to know them like a cultural anthropologist would. After becoming friends with the local group and participating in their way of life, Jimmy would document their culture. Regarding indigenous people groups today, he tells Featureshoot:

“If we could start a global movement that documents and shares images, thoughts and stories about tribal life both old and new, perhaps we could save part of our world’s precious cultural heritage from vanishing. We must work to let them coexist in these modern times by supporting their cause, respecting their habitats, recording their pride, and helping them to pass on their traditions to generations to come.”

Check out Jimmy Nelson’s book on this trip titled “Before They Pass Away.”

The Goroka, Papua New Guinea.
The Chukchi, Siberia.
The Huaorani, Ecuador.
The Rabari, India.
The Asaro, Papua New Guinea.
Gauchos, Argentina.
The Himba, Namibia.
The Huli, Papua New Guinea.
The Ladakhi, India.
The Kazakh, Mongolia.
The Kalam, Papua New Guinea.
The Maori, New Zealand.
The Vanuatu, Vanuatu Islands.

© Jimmy Nelson BV Courtesy teNeues.

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