Before They Pass Away: Candid Photos of Authentic, Awe-Inspiring Tribal Warriors.

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tribal leader photo

What do we have in common with indigenous tribal peoples?

They don’t use computers or shop at the supermarket or listen to pop music or take yoga classes. They are the epitome of fierce.

Still, as Buddhism teaches, they—just like us—seek happiness and seek to avoid suffering. Although our language, culture, behavior and traditions are drastically different, maybe we have more in common than we think?

The website and project Before They Pass Away portrays 29 indigenous tribes featured in the stunning photographs on the site (and in the companion book).

A few years ago, photojournalist Jimmy Nelson had a dream:

“In 2009, I planned to become a guest of 31 secluded and visually unique tribes. I wanted to witness their time-honoured traditions, join in their rituals and discover how the rest of the world is threatening to change their way of life forever.

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.”

He achieved it. And the resulting art is nothing short of amazing.

Warning: you may get lost in a tribal time-warp dream world upon perusing this site.


Relephant reads:

Lost Generation. {Poem}

The Whales that Lost their Way.

Subjectify Me: 5 Ways to Tell if an Image is Objectifying.


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: teNeues Publishing 

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About Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a Gemini yogini, writer, teacher and retreat leader who founded Yoga Freedom in 2002 in Austin, Texas. Her home base since 2012 has been Lake Atitlán, Guatemala where she lives in an eco cabin with her Colombian partner, daughter, dog and two gatos. Michelle has been writing this column for elephant journal since 2010 and has written several inspiring books, with more on the way. Michelle's lineage is the very esoteric Yoga Schmoga, which incorporates hatha yoga asana, dharma teachings, pranayama, yin, mindfulness, mantra and meditation. Join Michelle on retreat!


6 Responses to “Before They Pass Away: Candid Photos of Authentic, Awe-Inspiring Tribal Warriors.”

  1. MARIA A DI FONZO says:

    Beautiful photos

  2. Jen says:

    Absolutely stunning, we need to protect these tribes and our World, we could learn so much from them

  3. Marrissa says:

    I am interested in photos 19 and 20!! What tribes? Their location? Loved this!

  4. Marrissa says:

    Wonderful photos! I am interested in the tribes in 19 and 20. Could you say more about them?

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