The Last Standing Tribes of Earth

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Did you know that there are still people on Earth living in small tribes, whose culture, rituals, and traditions have remained relatively unchanged throughout centuries, maybe even millennia? Yeah, you don’t think about this stuff everyday. Jimmy Nelson spent the past three years visiting the most hard to access places on the planet to capture mind blowing photos of the last surviving tribes on Earth, and here are some images from the full series available on Amazon that will make you question your privileges.

 

 

ASARO TRIBE
Location: Indonesia + Papua New Guinea
Photographed in 2010
These dudes, the legendary Asaro Mudmen, would frequently apply their mud and masks to terrorize other villages with occasional early-morning visits.

 

 

CHINESE FISHING TRIBE
Location: Guangxi, China
Photographed in 2010
The only tribe on Earth using the Cormorant fishing technique. To control the birds, the fishermen tie a snare near the base of the bird’s throat, preventing them from swallowing big fish.


MAASAI TRIBE
Location: Kenya + Tanzania
Photographed in 2010
Think of the Maasai as the modern-day Spartans. From boyhood to adulthood, young Maasai learn the responsibilities of being a man and a warrior. In fact this is one of the oldest warrior cultures in existence.

 

 

NENETS TRIBE
Location: Siberia – Yamal
Photographed in 2011
The Nenets are nomadic reindeer herders, traveling across the Yamal peninsula. These guys have been around, for more then a 1000 years, surviving temperatures from -50°C in winter to -35°C in summer.


MAORI TRIBE
Location: New Zealand
Photographed in 2011
The Maori worship many gods, goddesses and spirits, and believe that ancestors and supernatural beings are ever-present and able to help the tribe in times of need.

 

 

GOROKA TRIBE
Location: Indonesia + Papua New Guinea
Photographed in 2011
The residents of the highland villages have plenty of good food, tight family bonds, and a great respect for the wonders of nature. They’re hunters, gatherers, and farmers, just like 99% of the tribes. Goroka men go through great effort to impress the enemy with flashy makeup and ornaments.


HULI TRIBE
Location: Indonesia + Papua New Guinea
Photographed in 2010
The indigenous groups fight over land, pigs and women. Sounds very much like the rest of the world. The largest indigenous group, the Huli wigmen, paint their faces yellow, red, and white, and are famous for their tradition of making ornamented wigs from their own hair. Kinda creepy but okay.

 

 

KAZAKH TRIBE
Location: Mongolia
Photographed in 2011
The Kazakhs are the descendants of Turkic, Mongolic, and Indo-Iranian indigenous groups, and Huns that populated the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea. The Kazakhs are famous for their ancient art of eagle hunting. They’re actually using the birds to hunt wolves. WOLVES! Some insane badassery is afoot.


KARO TRIBE
Location: Ethiopia
Photographed in 2011
The Omo Valley, situated in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, is home to an estimated 200,000 indigenous peoples who have lived there for millennia trading goods between each other. And now that the roads are getting there, they’re trading guns and bullets.

 

 

DASSANECH TRIBE
Location: Ethiopia
Photographed in 2011
You don’t have to be Ethiopian to become a part of the Dassanech tribe. Anyone can be admitted!


VANUATU TRIBE
Location: Rah Lava Island, Torba Province
Photographed in 2011
Vanuatu believe that money and wealth can be obtained through dancing, which is an important part of their culture. And yes, you can make money shaking your booty, but that’s probably not what their philosophy is about.

 

 

LADAKHI TRIBE
Location: India
Photographed in 2012
The Ladakhi are pretty much like their Tibetan neighbors. Their beliefs have been revolving around Tibetan Buddhism, mixed with images of ferocious demons from the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, for more than a thousand years.


MURSI TRIBE
Location: Ethiopia
Photographed in 2011
Mursi warriors are marked with horseshoe-shaped scars on their bodies. Men are gashed on their right arms, whereas women are gashed on their left arms. Very successful warriors have their thighs marked.

 

 

RABARI TRIBE
Location: India
Photographed in 2012
The Rabari have roamed the deserts and plains of western India for over 1000 years now. The Rabari women are exceptionally skilled in embroidery, a vital and evolving expression of their crafted textile tradition.


SAMBURU TRIBE
Location: Kenya + Tanzania
Photographed in 2010
The Samburu exhibit nomadic tendencies, have to relocate every 5 to 6 weeks to ensure their cattle stay fed.

 

 

MUSTANG TRIBE
Location: Nepal
Photographed in 2011
The Mustang people are very religious, and most of them still believe that the world is flat. No wonder their tribe is on the verge of disappearing, and is one of the last truly Tibetan cultures existing today.

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