The ‘Disappearing’ Tribes of Africa and Asia

Disappearing: Two members of the Konyak tribe, which can be found in north eastern India, sport facial tattoos, which are only awarded to Konyak men who have taken an enemy’s head

Our connected world has brought modern ways and technology to even the furthest corners, but what many would view as positive progress has also put rural and remote tribes and their traditions at risk of extinction.

This photo series shows men, women and children of some of the indigenous people of Africa and Asia, and their traditional methods of achieving their idea of beauty.

This includes the tattooed former headhunters of northeastern India, the women of Ethiopia’s Mursi tribe who stretch their bottom lips with clay discs, and the neighbouring Hamer people who create stunning beaded clothing.

Tradition: Teenage girls of the Hamer, or Hamar people, a tribe that can be found living in the Omo River valley in Ethiopia
Disappearing: Two members of the Konyak tribe, which can be found in north eastern India, sport facial tattoos, which are only awarded to Konyak men who have taken an enemy’s head

Female members of Ethiopia’s Mursi tribe, which number less than 10,000, wear large clay discs in their lower lips
A lot on their plate: Mursi women traditionally begin wearing a lip disc in adolescence, and often carve their own patterns and designs into their clay or wooden plates

The Mentawai people live on the Indonesian islands of the same name, and are known for their decorative tattoos and the practise of sharpening their teeth, which they believe make them more attractive to the opposite sex
Stunning: Women on Ethiopia’s Karo people, with white clay paint on their faces and labret piercings
Hidden beauty: A woman from the Himba tribe, who live in northern Namibia. From puberty Himba women braid their hair and veneer each one with clay and red soil, and use the same mixture to paint their bodies red

They are known for the large clay discs many of the women wear in their bottom lip. The lip-plate is a coming-of-age process for women in the Mursi tribe, with a teenage girl traditionally having her bottom lip pierced at around age 15.

The cut is plugged with a piece of wood, and once this initial piercing has healed, the girl can begin stretching her lip with clay or wooden discs.

Not far from the Mursi live the Hamer, also spelled Hamar, who use clay and fat to create their distinctive hairstyles, and decorate their clothes with colourful beads.

Another Omo Valley tribe is the Karo. Karo people use white clay to paint their bodies, starting anew every morning, creating everything from animal patterns to stars, spots and flowers on their skin.

The Karo people, left, decorate their bodies with white chalk, while the Mentawai from Indonesia use tattoos and – although not seen in this image – they also sharpen their teeth

Beauty: The Hamer tribe use clay and fat to create their distinctive hairstyles, and decorate their clothes with colourful beads
Dying out: Two elderly Kalinga people, from the northern Philippines, show off the tattoos covering their upper bodies

Fighting spirit: The Iban, also known as Sea Dayaks, mostly live in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, and used to be known as a fearsome warrior tribe

Mr Koziol has so far documented 18 tribes in Africa and Asia, but has a list of 50 more he wants to reach in future.

‘I think it was the first tribe I managed to take some pictures of, the Iban tribe, who left the biggest impression on me,’ added Koziol.

‘Apart from that, it was a great adventure for me to be around the Mentawai people in Siberut Island next to Sumatra. It is a unique shamanic culture shrouded in mystery.

‘I also felt amazingly good in the Konyak tribe in India, the culture of the former headhunters, who converted to Christianity.’

SOURCE: DailyMail, by SARA MALM