..a few images/video stills from a visit to the ‘Ausia Ki Vusi women’s group in Ma’ufanga where I spent some time with ‘Oliva Vaka as she worked diligently to tohi (paint) ngatu. Like a lot of women in Tonga right now, ‘Olivia and her group don’t use kupesi (patterned stencils) during their koka’anga, opting instead to freehand the designs on top after the tapa is assembled. ‘Olivia is truly a skilled artist; she comes up with the design and the layout in her head, combining traditional kupesi patterns (she especially favors the tokelau feletoa and fata ‘o tui tonga) with original designs. She works with a speed and grace that speaks of her many years of experience & of her love for the art of making ngatu. Malie ‘Olivia!
"Before They Pass Away" is a collection of evocative portraits by the British photographer Jimmy Nelson that capture the world’s “last tribesmen”.
"I didn’t start this project anticipating that I could stop the world from changing. I purely wanted to create a visual document that reminds us and generations to come of how beautiful the human world once was."
– Jimmy Nelson
But we aren’t going anywhere. We’ll still be here after the western empire has fallen. :)
Indigenous people shouldn’t be discounted and treated like our voices that relate to our own struggles are dead…we are accustomed to adaptation and know how to survive in adversity.