Today we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. It is a day set aside to celebrate and focus on the cultures of various indigenous tribes in the American continents. These ancient societies have such beautiful and varied traditions, faiths, and ways of life that have been eroded and erased as homogenous modern culture takes over the world. Why is it so important to remember and honor the indigenous peoples of the world?
These are the cultures that built the foundation of the world we live in today; a vast rainbow of tradition, religion, and art that informs the evolution of humanity. In the not so distant past, certain societies colonized and dominated others, requiring the conquered to assimilate in order to survive. But now, as a human society, we are learning the error of this. We are learning the value of honoring the ancient, the unique, the deep roots of ancestral songs, art, and teachings. We are learning the importance of preserving these cultures.
Jimmy Nelson is a photographer who traveled for 3 years all over the world documenting the lives of indigenous peoples through stunning portraits. He chose 31 endangered tribes to photograph, traveled to their homes, asked them to reveal themselves and their traditions for his camera. He spent 2 weeks with each tribe, taking part in their rituals and daily lives. The result is a gorgeous documentation of slowly disappearing peoples, their traditional styles and clothes, their homes and the natural environments they inhabit. These incredible photographs have been compiled into a book called Before They Pass Away, bringing the vast beauty of indigenous peoples to your coffee table. We have the book available at our online store. It’s a beautiful way to learn about the unique and ancient history we should all cherish.