natural beauty
August 30, 2008 10:27 PM   Subscribe

The People of the Omo Valley, Ethiopia, use their faces and bodies as canvases, using natural elements at hand in an especially beautiful, natural fashion show. These photographs [flash] were taken by Hans Silvester, a German photographer who spent 10 months in the Omo Valley.

Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa
An unprecedented series of images showing the Omo people's imaginative body decoration and embellishments.

Also by Hans Silvester, Cats in Love and Cats in the Sun

About the Omo people. People of region along the Omo river.
posted by nickyskye (21 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Really haunting. They're like faces from dreamtime. Wonderful.
posted by digaman at 10:40 PM on August 30, 2008

Wow. Extraordinarily beautiful.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:53 PM on August 30, 2008

Wow, that's fantastic!
posted by gemmy at 10:54 PM on August 30, 2008

damn, made it to the mouth of the valley, but ran out of time...
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:36 PM on August 30, 2008

Exquisite, nicky, thank you. I'd seen a few of these photos, but had no information about the people or the photographer. They are so very compelling and haunting, as digaman said.

What artistry - it would seem as though Picasso was a student of this art. And I was struck by how much this face looks like it might have been found on a Gaugin canvass.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:43 PM on August 30, 2008

Lordy mercy, these people are beautiful. This is stunning. Great post, nicky.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:52 PM on August 30, 2008

aah, you inspire us all to reach for greater heights, thanks nicky
posted by infini at 12:14 AM on August 31, 2008

Great post nicky; but why are you reading the Daily Mail? Are you OK?l
posted by adamvasco at 1:13 AM on August 31, 2008

Don't you ever crave to appear on the front of the Daily Mail, dressed in your mother's bridal veil?
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:23 AM on August 31, 2008

make up your mind, ubu, what is it going to be? bridal veil and daily mail or playing the bansuri on a ganges ghat?
posted by infini at 2:18 AM on August 31, 2008

what makes you think they're mutually exclusive?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:29 AM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wow, beautiful plus functional. I want a carob branch hat for when I'm feeling snacky.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:25 AM on August 31, 2008

envisions ubu ; boggles mind
posted by infini at 6:22 AM on August 31, 2008

I look at this, and I see a future Project Runway design challenge.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:32 AM on August 31, 2008

Thank you nicky. Stellar as always.
posted by netbros at 8:22 AM on August 31, 2008

Incredibly beautiful. Thanks, nicky.
posted by languagehat at 9:38 AM on August 31, 2008

A day later and I'm still knocked out by the beauty of these people.

The huge, sad irony here: We in the developed world think we are so much more evolved. We trample and destroy nature to feed our plastic appetites; we decorate and entertain ourselves with mass produced merchandise that pretends to express our individuality and taste while doing the opposite. The Omo people embrace nature and let nature embrace them with so much creativity and individuality and sensitivity, yet we will inevitably show them our culture and suck them down the drain with us.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:20 AM on August 31, 2008

they also happen to be irrepressible pickpockets & petty thieves. like, you *will* leave the Omo Valley with no more than a quarter of the stuff you took in. something in the culture, apparently.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:03 AM on August 31, 2008

Beautiful. Thank you.
posted by nicolin at 12:16 PM on August 31, 2008

Wow...incredibly beautiful!

Yeah, it's been said before, but it's how I feel about these remarkable ornamentations. :)
posted by darkstar at 2:39 PM on August 31, 2008

Funny, I ran across this book in a store this morning and was really struck by how beautiful it was. Thanks for this post.
posted by DarkForest at 6:05 PM on August 31, 2008

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