Tribal Muses- The Avant-Garde of the tribal world
Over the course of a few voyages to Africa's Omo Valley, Biljana became fascinated by the beauty of the Surma, Mursi and Karo tribes, who share a taste for body painting and extravagant decorations borrowed from nature. This collection of photographs captures these accoutrements with the Surma tribe.
In between Ethiopia and South Sudan is where the Avant-Garde of the tribal world is found. This is where rivers wind through dry grasslands - there are flora and fauna, with water supporting abundant flowers and wild fruit trees. This is where nature instigates and invites spontaneous creativity. Within hands reach flourishes plants, branches, horns and more inspiring art, imagination, and self-expression. Civilization here is among the most ancient, mystical and exotic in the world.
This portfolio serializes the stories of the Surma tribe - a people who are as creative as they are proud. Their bodies are canvases, the valleys their catwalk, mother earth their designer of haute couture.
For them, beauty is impromptu, and accessories are born in a moment. They make mesmerizing hats and headdresses, bracelets and bangles from fallen leaves, plant roots and seed pods. Extravagance, drama and theatre are the only trends known.
Their practices of body painting, decorative scarring and piercings have been practised for centuries. And so, the tradition continues heritage is passed from generation to generation.
These costumes demand craftsmanship that levels any dressmaker or designer in our developed world. To observe these people, even for an hour, is to observe strength, dignity and pride. The grounds here are rich with colour - white kaolin, red ochre, yellow sulfur, grey ash and white limestone all common minerals of the earth and a palette of hues for the body.
My portfolio shines a light on the uniqueness of this society. Among which is pride and strength, and within which is art and beauty. Image by image, this portfolio honours them and their world a world that is boundlessly inventive, magical and natural.
In their individuality, there lies much to be admired. To embrace vividly differently cultures such as that of the Surma Tribe is to discover stories, and to step beyond the fear of unknown places.
Cherishing differences, respecting tradition, my journey down dusty roads and over challenging terrain have been as much about capturing these stories, as it has been about self-discovery. Remoteness, lack of amenities and tribal wars have demanded much in the way of resourcefulness and determination to tell the tales of the Surma Tribe in all their tribalistic and artistically experimental glory.
Call of the WildPOS BJ 172 01$4,000.00 Floral RhapsodyPOS BJ 172 02$2,500.00 Touch of LovePOS BJ 172 03$4,000.00 Floral charmPOS BJ 172 04$2,500.00 Boundless LovePOS BJ 172 05$4,000.00 WanderlustPOS BJ 172 06$2,500.00 I had a DreamPOS BJ 172 07$2,500.00 Tribal AllurePOS BJ 172 08$4,000.00 One of a KindPOS BJ 172 09$2,500.00 Day DreamerPOS BJ 172 10$2,500.00 Artisania TributesPOS BJ 172 11$2,500.00 Tribal charmPOS BJ 172 12$2,500.00 ZuriPOS BJ 172 13$2,500.00 Dreaming of WonderlandPOS BJ 172 14$2,500.00 Kibish Wild Flower IIPOS BJ 172 15$2,500.00