The last of the Chin tribeAdd to Lightbox Download
Polish photographer, Adam Koziol has travelled all over the world to document ancient and primitive tribes. This time, he has captured the beauty and magic of the Chin tribe in Chin State in Burma. The women photographed in his photos come from the last generation of the Chin tribe who have their faces tattooed.
The Chin tribe came about when decades ago, the Burmese king would travel to the area inhabited by women from the Chin tribe. He was in awe of what he saw and because it left such a big impression on him, he kidnapped on of the girls. From then on, Chin families started to tattoo their daughters faces and other parts of their body to make sure they would never be kidnapped. Girls between the ages of 12 and 14 would also have their ears pierced so they could wear bigger earrings – a symbol of feminine beauty but also so they could become part of the tribe and be less appealing to the Burmese king. It would take more than a day for the girls to have their faces tattooed and was an extremely painful process – especially on their eyelids.
The tattoos are not made with ink, but rather with leaves, grass shoots and soot. The mixture was then tattooed on with sharp cane thorns. The Burmese socialist government put a ban on this tradition in the 60s.
“I want to show the beauty of cultures and the variety of origins of people from all over the world. I am fascinated in particular by tattoos and scarification’s of tribes” says Adam. “I develop relationships with people before creating photos and spend as much time with them as possible, really getting to know them and their culture.”
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