Jimmy Nelson ventured through lush mountains, dense forests, wide rivers and deep valleys with one goal in mind – to observe and photograph the forgotten tribesman. He met and stayed with various tribes including the Kazakh, Maori, Ladakhi, Nenet and Yali tribes. The result is Before They – a stunning collection of portraits depicting the way these tribes live and commune, all set against beautiful and untarnished nature.
The Kazakh Tribe
He smiled and drank their mysterious brews before taking out his camera. He shared what real people share: vibrations, invisible but palpable. He adjusted his antenna to the same frequency as theirs. As trust grew, a shared understanding of the mission developed: the world must never forget the way things were. – Before They
The Chukchi Tribe
‘’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.” – Jimmy Nelson, Before They