Before They Pass Away
by Jimmy Nelson | Teneues | $150
Nelson documents members of 20 threatened indigenous cultures throughout the world—while they're still with us, as his title indicates. From the reindeer-based Nanets of Siberia (above) to the nomadic Maasai people of Tanzania, Nelson's subjects don ornamental garb and enact ancient rituals in his portraits, sometimes shot against black seamless and other times in their breathtakingly pristine environs. "He becomes one of them, almost wilder and prouder than they are," writes Mark Blaisse in his essay on Nelson. "Show us the essence of your being, he orders—and out come the belts and jewels, the knives and spears hidden in cupboards, the traditional chief's headwear and the warrior's face paint. A catalyst is exactly what he is. He literally begs us all to open our eyes and start caring."