- Hardcover: 408 pages
- Publisher: teNeues; Mul edition (October 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 3832797599
- ISBN-13: 978-3832797591
- Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 2.1 x 14.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 177 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Before They Pass Away Mul Edition
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For sheer splendor, the catwalks of New York, Milan and Paris combined can barely touch the eagle hunters of Mongolia. Riding squat ponies through the mountains, these Turkic peoples wear high-domed and winged fur hats, embroidered felt boots and leggings, cloaks of reindeer hide, studded metal belts, fearsome hooded eagles perched on their arms.
The fierce elegance of their clothing fully matches that of the stark landscape they inhabit; it also, and not incidentally, testifies to the irrepressible human will to beautify.
That conclusion inevitably results from viewing "Before They Pass Away," the British photographer Jimmy Nelson's tombstone-size new volume (teNeues, $150) documenting vanishing tribal cultures around the world. The book results from a project taking years and is less ethnology or anthropology than a document of his romance with otherness.
In his strenuous travels with an archaic studio camera, Mr. Nelson visited 35 of the world's least known and most imperiled tribal peoples -- from the Huli and Kalam tribes of New Guinea, to the Tsaatan of Mongolia and the Mursi people inhabiting the highlands of the Omo River valley in remote southern Ethiopia.
Guy Trebay, New York Times.com Fashion and Style Section, October 18, 2013
The ingenuity of tribal societies shines in "Before They Pass Away"...Nelson brings the expressive personalities further to life with a photographic style derived from Irving Penn and Malik Sidibe, making for a visually rich and fascinating read-and an ideal conversation-starter on any well-curated coffee table.
Fabio Morelli, Elle Décor.com, October 8, 2013
Jimmy Nelson has spent the past three years traveling to some of the most remote places on Earth capturing the lives of indigenous people, from the frigid moutains of Mongolia to the endless sandy deserts of Namibia.
Drama and emotion are crucial to Nelson's photography because he's on a search for beauty.
Lorraine Boissoneault, weather.com, October 1, 2013
Top customer reviews
To say that Jimmy Nelson is living & duplicating other peoples previous efforts is grossly incorrect, the very fact that these same self appointed critics comment on the quality of the photography proves that this is not the case. I don't believe he is trying to prove anything, other than he has a dream & what he says he is trying to get to do & that is to depict what he's looking for in his photography, circumstances change & so does equipment. What was done 100 years ago could have been in black & white, these latest depictions are definitely not, they are magnificent.
To be able to even reach some of these locations is an achievement in itself, it not only takes a long & extensive effort to get there, it can also be quite dangerous, sometimes you require armed assistants just to ensure your safety on the journey & you can keep everything together.
The comments that these indigenous people are not disappearing is also naïve, to travel to some of these remote areas & then find the local inhabitants with TV's & mobile phones is a testament to that in itself.
I look at these photographs & yes I believe they are produced with an effort to depict some people in a period of bygone days & some circumstances that could no longer exist, but I am possibly never going to be able to travel to many of these outer areas in my lifetime & I certainly can't go back in time. It won't be that much longer before these photographs will no longer be possible for many other reasons, including things like "Global Warming". I find nothing wrong with anything that has been depicted here.
I think Beethoven was once accused of trying to duplicate works of Mozart, possibly the case. I think having heard that Beethoven moved on.
In the meantime, I'm going to look at this book, admire Jimmy Nelson's efforts for what they are & I wish I had been able to do this with him, other than via this book. If he puts out another book I will try & get that too.
The photos in the book are just plain beautiful. Each tells its own story, without words, but with the visual connection the reader has to the photograph and the subject of the photo, along with the physical and social environment of each culture as depicted in the images.
Yes, the book is pricey. The question is whether it's worth the money. The answer for me (and hopefully for you) is Yes.
The book is organized by "tribe", basically: There are a few dozen sections each devoted to one group of people living in Africa, Tibet, Siberia, Bornea, South America etc...At the beginning of each section there's a page-long intro to that people, with sections on their history, beliefs, and how they live day-to-day. And then the images come and you see faces that are identical in some cases to faces that existed many thousands of years ago. But they, and their cultures, are still around today.
The world is changing so quickly that it is astonishing to see all of these different ancient people in one place. And it is all the more amazing when you realize that these are indeed PEOPLE: Humans, who live lives that are almost unimaginable to those of us in post-industrial societies.
Again, this isn't just a great book. It's a vitally important work that will haunt and delight you. If you were considering buying a copy, don't: Just buy it. You won't regret it, not for an instant. It's amazing. (And BIG.)
Most recent customer reviews
As a bit of a warning, though, this book weighs a TON.Read more
A huge table top book, when one is all you need. The photography is awesome.Read more