SOME of the world’s last indigenous tribes have been captured in a series of staggering photos.
Photographer Jimmy Nelson spent decades travelling the globe, meeting and documenting some of humanity’s remotest communities.
By presenting never-seen-before images and telling their intimate stories, Nelson hopes to foster pride and respect for indigenous cultures.
But the incredible images are also a stark warning of the fragility of their existence, whose ways of life risk being lost forever.
Nelson 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.’
One image shows the Huli wigmen, who live in the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea.
A group of men are pictured at the base of a waterfall, the bright yellow clay on their faces standing out from the green foliage of the rain forest around them.
Another portrait shows of a member of the Nenets, who herd reindeer across the freezing expanses of the Siberian circle.
Taken in the Yamal Peninsula in northern Russia, the picture shows the huge furs worn by the Nenets to protect them against -50C temperatures.
Nelson says he presents these cultures in an ‘aspirational and stylised way’, which has previously proved controversial among anthropologists and purists.
But he believes the beautification of his subjects sends a powerful message to viewers.
‘Our collective cultural identity is too valuable to be destroyed by homogenisation,’ he said.
‘We must unify and fight to support indigenous cultures and take personal pride in the myriad of their cultural traditions that are still to be found on the planet today.’