Jimmy Nelson is a photographer who embarked on a journey unlike any other.
He set out to document as many isolated civilizations as he could, before the pressures of the developed world start to severely impact their culture, traditions and way of life. He was, in a manner of speaking, their ‘visual ghostwriter’, telling their story through his beautiful photography and thereby ensuring their culture was preserved for future generations to discover and see for themselves.
Over 3 years and thousands of air miles, he documented 30 unique and rarely seen tribes and their cultures for his magnificent photographic series ‘Before They Pass Away‘. His incredible journey took him to Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Tanazania, New Zealand, Mongolia, Siberia, Nepal, China, Vanuatu, Argentina, Ecuador, Namibia, India, Chukotka and Indonesia - each with their own perils, risks and unmistakable highlights.
But wherever he went, however remote or alien his surroundings, his motivation was the same.
“I didn’t start this project anticipating that I could stop the world from changing. I purely wanted to create a visual document that reminds us and generations to come of how beautiful the human world once was.” – Jimmy Nelson
Today we’re just featuring a small selection from his travels, but 500 of the very best images have made it into his glorious special XXL size book ’Before They Pass Away‘ – it’s an essential read and truly a fantastic work of art to own but more than that, it’s an insight into a worlds so very detached and yet so very similar to our own, that make it sure a true treasure to own.
You can purchase it here and find out more about Jimmy, his story and indeed the story of the tribes via his official site. Have a look a some of the tribes below, can you guess where part of the world they are from?
Via Jimmy Nelson