Portraits of Indigenous People From All Around the World

Young Kayapó (Mebêngôkre) girl at a protest in Brasília

“Young Kayapó (Mebêngôkre) girl at a protest in Brasília. Every year, in April, thousands of Brazilian indigenous people travel many kilometers from territories across the country to gather at the Free Land Camp in the capital, to protest in defense of their lands and lives.” Kayapó (Mebêngôkre) girl, Brazil, 2022 (Photo: © Ekuná Kamayurá)

For over 50 years, Survival International has been working to protect the rights of Indigenous people around the globe. Not only do they help tribes lobby for their land rights, but they also confront the atrocities that these tribes are facing—from genocide to racism. In order to stay impartial, the charity does not accept government funding. To help support their ongoing campaigns, they've recently released their 2023 calendar, We, the People.

The 12 incredible images found in the calendar illustrate daily life for Indigenous people. From a young Kayapó girl in Brazil protesting for her rights to Nenets children carrying on their tribes' traditions, each photograph tells a story. These stories not only serve as inspiration to get involved, but they are also reminders of our world's precious cultural diversity.

Survival International has made it its mission to preserve this diversity, which is under constant attack. Some of the important work they carry out includes ensuring that the new 30×30 agreement passed at COP 15 won't adversely affect Indigenous people by taking away their native land. They also advocate for the end of factory schooling for Indigenous children and to include Indigenous tribes as senior partners in land conservation.

Check out all of the images from the 2023 Survival International calendar below, and then show your support by purchasing We, the People online.

Since 1969, Survival International has been championing the rights of Indigenous people.

Nenets Children in Russia

“Although they may have to leave their family to go to school, many Nenets children then return to live in the tundra. Tribal children are the inheritors of their territories, languages and unique ways of seeing the world, and the custodians of their ancestors’ knowledge.” Nenets camp, Russia, 2019 (Photo: © Yuliya Vassilyeva)

Yanomami Men With Handprints on Their Back

“For tens of thousands of years, people have used their handprints to signal their existence and resistance. They are also a collective call for all of us to support them.” Yanomami men, Brazil, 2010 (Photo: © Fiona Watson)

Shepherd Carrying Dried Yak in His Hood on a Frozen Lake Near Gya, India

“On the shores of a frozen lake near Gya, this shepherd carries dried yak dung in his hood. It’s used as fuel, and to reinforce the insulation of Ladakhi houses.” Ladakhi shepherd, India, 2017 (Photo: © Nadia Ferroukhi)

Guajajara woman in Brazil weaving a maniá hammock

“A Guajajara woman weaving a maniá hammock. A group of incredibly brave and inspiring members of the tribe, known as the Guardians of the Amazon, are putting their lives on the line to save their forest home – and their uncontacted Awá neighbors – from destruction.” Guajajara woman, Terra IndígenaAraribóia, Brazil, 2021 (Photo: © Edivan Dos Santos Guajajara)

Aerial View of Enawene Nawe houses in Brazil

“Tribal peoples are the best guardians of their lands and, even from the air, the diversity of their landscapes is extraordinary. While this image shows Enawene Nawe houses and surrounding pathways, trees and vegetation, multispectral imaging technology is also used to expose environmental degradation – a key tool in the fight against the invasion of indigenous territories.” Enawene Nawe village, Brazil, 2020 (Photo: © Richard Mosse, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery)

Their 2023 calendar, We, the People, is a wonderful way to support the charity and its many campaigns.

Quechua alpaquera Alina Cradling a Baby Alpaca

“At an altitude of more than 17,000 feet, the Quechua alpaquera Alina cradles a baby alpaca on her way to the summer grazing of her family’s alpaca herd, in the Andes. Shrinking glaciers and increased drought are drying pastures, forcing the herders — many of whom are women — to search for new grazing grounds, often in difficult terrain.” Alina Surquislla Gomez, Quechua, Peru, 2021 (Photo: © Alessandro Cinque)

Maasai herdsmen in Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya

“For generations, the pastoralist Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have followed the seasonal rains of East Africa, moving their herds from one place to another, thus giving the grass a chance to grow again. But they are now increasingly suffering from climate change, human rights abuses and eviction in the name of conservation.” Maasai herdsmen, Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya, 2015 (Photo: © Charlie Hamilton James)

Aka Mbenzelé women gathering edible caterpillars in the Republic of Congo

“A group of women gathering edible caterpillars in their forest home. They have managed and protected the forest they depend on since time immemorial and are its best guardians. However, the creation of Protected Areas has brought hunger, ill-health and devastating violence – harassment, beatings, torture and even death – to local and indigenous people.” Aka Mbenzelé women, Republic of Congo, 2021 (Photo: © Marco Simoncelli)

The calendar is filled with 12 images showing the daily lives of Indigenous people around the world.

Üi Kãnã Pataxi Ritual in Brazil

“The Üi Kãnã Pataxi ritual is held annually in October to mark the start of the rainy season – a time of harvests and plenty for the Pataxó people. During this period, the community gathers together, and performs weddings and traditional ceremonies.” Pataxó men, Brazil, 2014
(Photo: © Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá)

A Sama-Bajau Boy Jumping from His House Into the Sea in Malaysia

“A boy joyfully jumping from his house into the sea. The Bajau spend most of their lives at sea. When hunting for fish, pearls and sea cucumbers on the sea-bed, they can free-dive to a depth of up to 20 meters, and hold their breath for up to three minutes.” Sama-Bajau boy, Malaysia, 2013 (Photo: © Pierre de Vallombreuse)

A Yurt Under the Stars in Mongolia

A yurt, the traditional portable home of several distinct nomadic peoples on the steppes of Central Asia, under a spectacular starry Mongolian sky. Yurt of Kazakh Eagle Hunters, Mongolia, 2018 (Photo: © Vijesh Kumar Raju)

Survival International: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Survival International.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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