Jimmy Nelson is a famous english photographer who portrayed 31 tribes between 2009 and 2012 and gathered the pictures in a book entitled “Before They Pass Away.”
For him was not just an exercise in style, but a journey that changed his confidence. In fact, the photographer shows on the book a famous phrase: “The tribes that have managed to survive to modernity are more than we can imagine. Their lifestyle is more pure and beautiful than ours. There is no greed and corruption. I want the tribes have beasts of their authenticity and we must help them to pass down their traditions.”
For this kind of reports you must be willing to dive into a new world. A bit like acting, the photographer must be prepared to divest themselves of their masks. It is necessary a large dose of humility and adaptation. You often have to accept invitations to participate in rituals not exactly pleasant, drinking and eating food from the doubt taste.
The camera is just the latest item to be shown, the acceptance of the individual comes first. Only after the tribes, in turn, accepted to be photographed.
In the pictures below you can see the faces and bodies of Siberian nomadic Nenet, the Melanesians of Pacific Islands, the Kazakhs who survive in extreme climatic conditions to 20 degrees below zero and the tribe of Mustang in Nepal, which thrives on sheep farming.
Nelson then met with Huli of Papua New Guinea, which have brightly colored wigs and dress up when they go to war, the Maori of New Zealand, who control large areas of the forest, the Yali of Papua in Indonesia, the Samburu of Kenya, where are the elders in charge.
The Himba live in Namibia and Angola, they are nomads and shepherds. They cover themself with “otjize“, a lotion of fat, ash and ocher that shields them from the sun and makes the skin look reddish. The Maasai of Kenya, on the other hand, are known for their ability to cultivate the desert.