(above) The Himba are an ancient tribe of semi-nomadic herders, living since the 16th century in scattered settlements throughout the region of the Kunene River in northwest Namibia and southwest Angola.
Over a three year period, photographer Jimmy Nelson visited 35 remote tribes on five continents. He published his collected photos in the book “Before They Pass Away” (www.teneues.com) Gaining the acceptance of people was the key to Jimmy’s work. His book stands as both a piece of art and an historical document.
“The world is changing and we’re not going to stop it, but I hope in my own way, to encourage them not to abandon everything that makes them so individual.”
While all the tribes he encountered were completely different in terms of appearance, the similarities were obvious. “From a social perspective they were the same,” Jimmy says. “The further you get away from civilization, the more people work as a family unit, the greater respect they have for the older generations and for each other. The further away you get, the kinder people are.”