Beauty Contest in the Peruvian Rainforests.

bIn this June 23, 2015 photo, Yeni Casiano Barboza, 15, from the Ashaninka Indian community, Natividad, poses for a photo while waiting to compete in the annual beauty contest, in the Otari Nativo village, Pichari, Peru.
For Ashaninka men, a woman’s beauty is determined in part by her hair, her sense of humor, and whether she can cook a tasty cassava dish, according to some community members.
Gathered in the middle of the Amazon forest, the participants in the beauty contest wear the simple brown dresses of the Ashaninka indigenous woman, their faces dotted in a traditional design with a red dye extracted from a spice called achiote.
“The little red dots are my happiness,” said Beysi Anaya, a 17-year-old who won last month’s competition after traveling three hours by car from her native valley community of Sampantuari. She was crowned with a small straw hat featuring a long red feather.
It was the fifth beauty contest held among annual festivities marking the founding of the Ashaninka community of Otari Nativo, which is in a valley near the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers in the world’s largest coca-growing region.
The Ashaninka people number in the tens of thousands and live mostly in the rainforests of Peru.
aIn this June 23, 2015 photo, Ashaninka Indian school children parade with torches during festivities celebrating the 44th anniversary of their village, in Otari Nativo, Pichari, Peru.
The village is located in a valley near the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers in the world’s largest coca growing region.
In addition to the standard Ashaninka dress, the contestants also showed off a shorter, midriff-baring summer version that can be used for swimming. Multiple strands of colored beads crisscrossed their chest like bandoliers.
Other activities included an archery competition for men and women as well as a contest for drinking the fermented juice of the cassava root.
The community’s men smoked large amounts of meat for festival-goers to eat.
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For Ashaninka men, a woman’s beauty is determined in part by her hair — the longer, the better — and whether she can cook a tasty cassava dish, said community member and translator Marishori Samaniego.
A sense of humor is also important in determining attractiveness, said psychologist Leslie Villapolo, who has worked with the Ashaninka.
via AP PHOTOS: Indigenous festival in Peruvian rainforest – Houston Chronicle.

Ancient Aboriginal Astronomy.

EmuInTheSky_Web_LoQual_sRGBIt is acknowledged that Australian Aboriginal culture is heavily spiritual and symbolic, but a rock engraving in a national park near Sydney suggests that the indigenous belief system represents a deep knowledge of the sky and the motion of the bodies within it.
Scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have presented the hypothesis that Aborigines – whose existence stretches back, unbroken, for more than 50,000 years – could have been the world’s first astronomers.
Coalsack Dark Nebula (within the Milky Way) is known to the Wardaman Aboriginal people as the head of the ‘Emu In The Sky’.
The rest of its body falls to the left, seen as the darkness between the stars.
Emu in the Skyv2
In the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near Sydney, is an ancient Aboriginal rock engraving of the Emu In The Sky, oriented in such a way so as to line up with the nebula where it appears in the sky at the time when real-life emus are laying their eggs.
This engraving, and the CSIRO’s research, could change people’s understanding of Aboriginal people and the development of advanced human thinking.
See more via Ancient Aboriginal Astronomy | Atlas Obscura.

The Kondhs of Odisha, India.

451b3e38-3bdd-4938-be9b-b9cc84a485d5-1020x1020Kucheipadar, India
The Kondhs are the largest tribal group in Odisha, formerly Orissa.
Their culture centres on nature and sacred hills. Utkal Alumina is mining the 200m tons of bauxite under the Baphlimali hills, while the 8,000-plus Dongria Kondh on the Niyamgiri hills have lived under the threat of mining there by Vedanta Resources.
Image Credit: Photograph byJohann Rousselot /Survival International
via Indigenous peoples – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian.

Solar Portrait in Love.

Solar Portrait in Love. Finalist, People.
Faustina Flores Carranza (66), and her husband, Juan Astudillo Jesus (63), sit in their solar-lit home in San Luis Acatlán, Guerrero, Mexico.
Faustina and Juan have seven children and have been together for 48 years.
Like many members of the Mixteca indigenous community, they have never had access to electricity.
When asked how having solar light has affected their life, Faustina said, “For the first time, we are able to look at each other in the eyes in our moments of intimacy.”
Image Credit: Photograph by Ruben Escudero. All rights reserved.
Source: Finalists From Smithsonian Magazine’s 2018 Photo Contest – The Atlantic

Faces Unchanged for Centuries.

CaptureHeist gallery founder, Mashael Al Rushaid, says her new exhibition ‘Origins’ draws on the narratives of ‘indigenous peoples on the corners of the planet, whose lives have remained unchanged for centuries’.
It’s bound to raise a few eyebrows, especially when one of its principal contributors, photographer Jimmy Nelson, has previously been accused of presenting a “damaging” picture of tribal peoples.
But, if you can leave aside the politics of portrayal, the collection of photographs – many of them portraits – from a range of international photographers, is stunning.
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A single Rankin eyescape at the gallery’s entrance focuses the viewer on the eyes in other works.
Often belonging to bodies that are decorated in paint, lavish jewellery, headgear, they connect us: the large brown irises in Mario Mariono’s gypsy girl Suman; those staring from behind a mask of jewellery in Xavier Guardans’ Rembes; from a mass of white fur, or under a hat of flowers, in Nelson’s Nenet and Dropka.
MARINO-Suman-Gypsy-girl
See more Images via Beautiful pictures of ‘indigenous peoples unchanged for centuries’ go on display – Features – Art – The Independent.
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