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World’s last surviving tribes revealed in incredible pictures taken to preserve ancient cultures before they die out

Patrick Knox, December 13, 2018 7:00PM The Sun

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The Muchimba tribe in Angola. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Muchimba tribe in Angola. Picture: Jimmy Nelson

humanities

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These incredible portraits record some of the world’s last indigenous* peoples living traditionally.

They were taken by photographer Jimmy Nelson, who wants to send an urgent warning that their unique* ways are at risk from the pressure of the modern world and their loss would be a reckless* waste of global cultural heritage.

A mother and her two kids from the Iatmul tribe in Papua New Guinea. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraA mother and her two kids from the Iatmul tribe in Papua New Guinea. Picture: Jimmy Nelson

Mr Nelson’s incredible images have been collected together as a fascinating body of work to communicate the importance of protecting their culture.

He said: “If we let the cultural identity of the indigenous people disappear now, it will be lost forever.

“It’s literally a case of blink, and they’re gone.

“And if this happens, we will lose one of the most valuable assets we have — our rich human cultural diversity* and heritage.”

A member of the Marquesas tribe in French Polynesia. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraA member of the Marquesas tribe in French Polynesia. Picture: Jimmy Nelson
The Ni tribe in Vanuatu on a rock where they can easily pick off their prey. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Ni tribe in Vanuatu on a rock where they can easily pick off their prey. Picture: Jimmy Nelson

One image shows the Huli wigmen, who live in the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea.

The Huli tribe in Papua New Guinea. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Huli tribe in Papua New Guinea. Picture: Jimmy Nelson

In another, a group of men are pictured at the base of a waterfall, the bright yellow clay on their faces contrasting with the green foliage* of the rainforest around them.

The Tufi tribe in New Guinea on their fishing boat. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Tufi tribe in New Guinea on their fishing boat. Picture: Jimmy Nelson

One beautiful portrait shows a member of the Nenets, who herd reindeer across the freezing expanses of Siberia. Taken in the Yamal Peninsula in northern Russia, the picture shows the huge furs worn by the Nenets to protect them against temperatures as low as -50C.

The Kazakh tribe in Mongolia. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Kazakh tribe in Mongolia. Picture: Jimmy Nelson

In another picture, a group of Wodaabe men line up to be judged at the Gerewol festival in Chad. In contrast to many modern cultures, it is the men who apply make-up and wear elaborate dresses to impress female judges as part of a beauty pageant*.

The Wodaabe in Chad make for a striking look with their make-up and highly crafted clothes. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Wodaabe in Chad make for a striking look with their make-up and highly crafted clothes. Picture: Jimmy Nelson
The Dolgans in Siberia use snow mobiles now, although dog sleighs are also used. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Dolgans in Siberia use snow mobiles now, although dog sleighs are also used. Picture: Jimmy Nelson
A member of the Maasai tribe in Tanzania stands looking over the plains. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraA member of the Maasai tribe in Tanzania stands looking over the plains. Picture: Jimmy Nelson
The Sadhus tribe in their cavernous homeland deep within India. Picture: Jimmy Nelson media_cameraThe Sadhus tribe in their cavernous homeland deep within India. Picture: Jimmy Nelson

This story was first published in The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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GLOSSARY

  • indigenous: specific to a particular area
  • unique: nothing else like it
  • reckless: without care
  • diversity: a range of types, not all the same
  • foliage: leaves and plants
  • pageant: parade

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

QUICK QUIZ

  1. What is the photographer’s name?
  2. Why does he want to share them?
  3. What does he think is one of the most valuable assets we have?
  4.  What is the name of the people who herd reindeer across Siberia?
  5. Who wears make-up in Chad?

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Map it out
Jimmy Nelson has taken photographs of tribes from many countries around the world.

Use a world map to locate the countries that the photographed tribes are from and label them with the name of the tribe or tribes that are from there. You will need to look at the pictures as well as read the article to help you complete this activity.

Time: Allow 20 minutes
Curriculum links: English, The Humanities — History, Geography

2. Extension
Choose three of the tribes mentioned and use the internet to research some facts about each culture. Find out four interesting facts about each culture. Are there any similarities between the cultures?

From the information you found are there similarities between the indigenous culture and modern Australian culture?

Time: Allow 45 minutes
Curriculum links: English, The Humanities — History, Geography

Extra Resources: Internet for research, World map,

VCOP ACTIVITY
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.

HAVE YOUR SAY: How did these photos make you feel? Which one did you find most interesting and why? No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking.

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