Daily Mail – The tribes that time forgot By James Gordon

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The tribes that time forgot: Incredible photographs show indigenous tribal communities in some of the remotest corners of the planet

  • Photographer Terri Gold uses infrared imagery to create distinctive-looking photographs
  • She has visited some of the most remote corners of the globe to capture images of tribes
  • Gold’s project has taken her to Namibia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, India, and China 

New York photographer Terri Gold says she wants to find ‘the grace notes’ of humanity. She has vivid memories of spinning an old-fashioned globe as a child, and as an adult, she dreams of faraway places and the secrets they keep hidden.

In her ongoing photography project, ‘Still Points in a Turning World’, Gold sought to track down tribes around the globe that appear to stand still while time rushes forward.

The pictures have been taken over the course of a decades-long career and ripe for a discussion about the globalizing forces that threaten indigenous cultures.

‘My earliest memories are of spinning a globe. I was always drawn to the last mysterious corners of the Earth. I wanted to visit with people who have not forgotten the old ways, who feel their past in the wind,’ Gold tells DailyMail.com.

‘The names of far off lands called to me – Samarkand, Lhasa, and Timbuktu. I dreamed of traveling with a caravan across the Himalayas, of finding hidden kingdoms. As soon as I was old enough, I stepped into my dreams with three cameras around my neck and my life’s journey began…’

The Hamar in Ethiopia,  a semi-nomadic tribe of cattle herders, have a set of unique rituals surrounding the use of butter as a beauty product. Here, the women apply a mixture of butter and red ochre to their hair

The Hamar in Ethiopia,  a semi-nomadic tribe of cattle herders, have a set of unique rituals surrounding the use of butter as a beauty product. Here, the women apply a mixture of butter and red ochre to their hair

Namibia. A Himba woman by the firelight

Namibia. A Himba woman by the firelight

In Niger, the Wodaabe men adorn themselves in cloth tightly wrapped from the waist down which accentuates their height, as well as colorful beaded and embroidered belts and headdresses with tall feathers 

In Niger, the Wodaabe men adorn themselves in cloth tightly wrapped from the waist down which accentuates their height, as well as colorful beaded and embroidered belts and headdresses with tall feathers

Niger: When the rains are good, an extraordinary beauty contest called the Gerewol takes place, where it’s the men who are on display. The men perform a dance called the yaake

Niger: When the rains are good, an extraordinary beauty contest called the Gerewol takes place, where it’s the men who are on display. The men perform a dance called the yaake

In Niger, legendary herders and caravaners of the Sahel desert, the Wodaabe are among the last nomads on Earth

In Niger, legendary herders and caravaners of the Sahel desert, the Wodaabe are among the last nomads on Earth

‘Known for my poetic infrared imagery from the remote corners of the globe, my lifelong series Still Points in a Turning World explores our universal cross-cultural truths: the importance of family, community, ritual and the amazing diversity of its expression,’ Gold tells DailyMail.com.

‘I love the still quality of a photograph that captures a fleeting moment in time. We are still and still moving. I am looking for the grace notes, for the sense of wonder in our world and in our connections to each other.

‘Though separated by continents, miles of mountains and plains, grasslands, forests and desert, many indigenous cultures share a commonality in the fervent preservation of their ways of living.

Her project has taken her to Namibia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, India, and China

Gold has devoted much of her life to visiting the Indigenous tribal communities on the planet.

Ethiopia’s Omo Valley is thought of as the birthplace of humankind, and is home to a variety of indigenous tribes

Ethiopia’s Omo Valley is thought of as the birthplace of humankind, and is home to a variety of indigenous tribes

Maasai men build a fire

Maasai men build a fire

Ethiopia: More than merely surviving in this sunbaked landscape, each tribe has stamped in the area a richly unique identity

Ethiopia: More than merely surviving in this sunbaked landscape, each tribe has stamped in the area a richly unique identity

A Suri boy in the cattle camp

A Suri boy in the cattle camp

Young Suri boys in Ethiopia bring home freshly caught fish

Young Suri boys in Ethiopia bring home freshly caught fish

According to Ms. Gold, ‘traditional knowledge of indigenous societies has the power to contribute to the planet’s modern vision of technology, science and medicine and sustainable living.

‘Though we may not see our own customs and traditions in these images, it is my hope that we recognize our common humanity. If we share our stories and appreciate the mysteries of every realm, we may yet gain a deeper understanding of that which lies both behind and ahead of us,’ Gold says.

‘Indigenous cultures that follow their traditional ways of life are rapidly disappearing. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise. Yet change itself does not destroy a culture. All societies are continually evolving. Diverse cultures survive when they honor the customs of their past and have a say in their future so they can maintain their spirit and essence in face of the forces of globalization.’

Kenya: Maasai women

Kenya: Maasai women

Maasai men survey the land with Mount Kilimanjaro behind them

Maasai men survey the land with Mount Kilimanjaro behind them

In Kenya, the Samburu men, their faces painted red with crimson ochre and impressive sets of brightly colored feathers swaying atop their heads

In Kenya, the Samburu men, their faces painted red with crimson ochre and impressive sets of brightly colored feathers swaying atop their heads

Daily life at the Gerewol festival

Daily life at the Gerewol festival

The San Bushmen of Namibia are said to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest peoples in the world, passing their rich history down from generation to generation

The San Bushmen of Namibia are said to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest peoples in the world, passing their rich history down from generation to generation

Namibia: A Himba father and son

Namibia: A Himba father and son

Suri boys pose in the Ethiopian forest

Suri boys pose in the Ethiopian forest

Beautification and scarification practices are encouraged for individuals to establish their identity within the community

Beautification and scarification practices are encouraged for individuals to establish their identity within the community

Living in harmony with nature, the Suri daily adorn their bodies with materials from the world around them, using plants, animal hides, clay, and colorfully paint their bodies with these natural pigments

Living in harmony with nature, the Suri daily adorn their bodies with materials from the world around them, using plants, animal hides, clay, and colorfully paint their bodies with these natural pigments

The Silent Dune of Namibia, Sossuvlei. The winds blow across the land from east and west, forcing the sand upward like ocean waves, and mysterious shadows form 

The Silent Dune of Namibia, Sossuvlei. The winds blow across the land from east and west, forcing the sand upward like ocean waves, and mysterious shadows form