In this economically obsessed ‘progressive’ society it becomes a struggle for indigenous tribes to live in their full glory like back in the days. Many tribes have witnessed the rise of the ‘white man’. Portraying their power and dominance to such degree traditions and way of life is on the edge of extinction. Not even to mention the genocidal violence many tribes had to endure.
It took photographer Jimmy Nelson three years filled with adventurous journeys to the most remote places of our world, to document and capture the beautiful masterpieces of the last remaining tribes on earth. The photographs portrayed in this article are only a selection from the full serie which is portrayed his book “Before they pass away“.
Tribes from all over the world have been captured in the most mind blowing photographes. The rawness adds power and the beauty touches your heart. The title of the book explains Nelsons mission. He wanted to portray the tribes before they completely faded into modern civilization and be non-existent. It is an ode to the indigenous people and their tradition and history.
The Asaro tribes are located in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The are also known as the ‘Mudmen’. They got their name via a legend. This legend states this tribe got defeated an enemy tribe who forced them to flee to the Asaro river. When they attempted to escape at dusk, the tribe was completely covered in mud. This made them appear as spirits and caused their enemy to be chased away.
The Asaro tribe continued to scare other people, by wearing masks and covering themselves with mud. Even when they got in touch with the western civilasation in the mids of the 20th century.
“Individually the people are all very sweet, but as their culture is being threatened they’re forced to stand up for themselves.”
– Jimmy Nelson, 2010
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