Living in a concrete box with hot water pouring from the tap, a refrigerator cooling our food and wi-fi connecting us to the rest of the world, we can barely imagine the way of life of, say, Tsaatan people. They move 5 to 10 times per year, building huts when the temperature is -40 and herding reindeer for transportation, clothing and food. “Before They Pass Away,” a long-term project by professional photographer Jimmy Nelson, gives us the unique opportunity to discover more than 30 secluded and slowly vanishing tribes of indigenous people from all over the world.
Spending two weeks in each of the native tribes, Jimmy became acquainted with their time-honored traditions, joined their rituals, and captured it all in incredibly interesting photos. His detailed photographs showcase unique jewellery, hairstyles and clothing, not to forget the surroundings and cultural elements most important to each tribe, like horses for Gauchos. According to Nelson, his mission was to assure that the world never forgets how things used to be: “Most importantly, I wanted to create an ambitious aesthetic photographic document that would stand the test of time. A body of work that would be an irreplaceable ethnographic record of a fast disappearing world.”
All of his snapshots now lie in a massive book and will be extended by a film (you can see a short introduction video below). So embark on a journey to the most off the grid corners and meet the witnesses of a disappearing world. Would you give up your smartphone, internet, and TV to live free like these beautiful people?
Huli, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Asaro, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Kalam, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Goroka, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Maori, New Zealand
Vanuatu, Vanuatu Islands
Dani, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea
Book available on Amazon.com.