Jimmy Nelson photographed tribes near extinction calling it Before They Pass Away. Survival is key; hunting is life, warmth, community. They are a people wrestling with mortality…where everyday the push and pull against a harsh climate, primitive tools, a long list of traditions…toughen their skin more so than others. Gamblers at large, the fate of some dangles off the back of their mush sled wrapped up in exaggerated garments made of skins, bones, fur. The fate of others clings to the rainforest preservation, their numbers dwindling beneath the depressed canopy. Ultra intimidating markings on their bodies, piercings that separate them from mainstream society, stone faces in natural beauty have captivated us.
The scenes reveal their nomadic lifestyles, camps set up candidly with tepees, fire ring, and members young and old. In lush corners of the planet, waterfalls and wild horses are part of the norm for other groups. Their landscape and attire almost seems cinematic and we are jealous for their freedom in life this day and everyday.