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Breathtaking images of world’s last indigenous cultures revealed

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.

Tribe: Jimmy Nelson with the Kazakh people in Mongolia PICTURES: SWNS

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.

Stylised: The Huli tribe in Papua New Guinea

‘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.

African adventure: Jimmy with the Mundari tribe in South Sudan

Another portrait shows of a member of the Nenets, who herd reindeer across the freezing expanses of the Siberian circle.

Adventures abroad: Young Tibetans pictured

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.

Lost worlds: The Kazakh tribe in Mongolia

Message: Nelson wants to help preserve cultural diversity

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.’

Enduring image: A member of the Marquesas tribe in French Polynesia