3 Tribes with serious fashion and beauty game you want to know about

Everyone is always talking about "Tribal Trends" and we thought why not go to the actual source and see REAL tribal fashion? There is a reason fashion people love to get inspired by them and we wanna show you 3 tribes that we love not just fashion-wise but for their cultural conventions as well.


Wodaabe Tribe

 "The People of Taboo" , The Wodaabe Tribe are all super gorgeous cattle herders that roam throughout Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon in Africa. Probably the most beautiful African tribe I've ever seen. Not to mention people all over the world go to watch their amazing ceremonies, one being the "Gerewol Festival", an annual beauty contest / mating ritual. You would think it would be these supermodel-esque beauties who get dolled up but nope- it's the men. 

Their mating ritual rivals that of peacocks, putting on makeup made of berries, butter, clay, and sometimes battery acid they transform into beautiful creatures and compete in the Gerewol where the women pick the most beautiful man to take back to their lair (or a bush if its more convenient) to consumate. Even if the man is married (they are a polygamous society) he can compete in the beauty contest year after year. Watch the Gerewol dance below National Geographic shot to experience the beauty and charm of the men.

Tallness, thin nose, white eyes and teeth, are ideal beauty marks for the Wodaabe. To accentuate these ideals they draw a line down the middle to show off symmetry, use battery acid around their eyes and lips to make teeth and eyes whiter, and use either red or yellow paint to show off their charm and personality. Festooned with feathers and trinkets on their wrap skirts they line up in front of the young women. Chanting, bobbing up and down (to emphasize their tall frame), widened their eyes as big as possible, and snarl a gleaming grin hoping the women notice and perhaps gain a new bride.


The Hmong People

Not really a tribe but nomadic mountain people originating from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Southern China. The Hmong people use their traditional clothing as signs of which tribes they hail from (Black Hmong, White Hmong, Flower Hmong, Striped Hmong). Donning neon colors, intricate beading, and graphic embroidery- it's so beautiful and happy! We were introduced to the Hmong through one of our photographers Bie, who is Hmong, and would tell us about her culture, food, and stories of Shaman rituals. These are Bie's photos she took during the Hmong New Year in Fresno, California. 




The last tribe of India, they call themselves Jharnia, "Protecters of the Stream". The Dongria Kondh are royal descendants of Niyam Raja, the mountain God, who they say bestowed the Niyamigri Hills for them to cultivate. I first learned about them through the heroic and sad story of this tribe fighting to save their mountains from a giant mining company who wanted to destroy it for the abundant aluminum that lies there. Their whole way of life is in the air right now and along with this powerful story I was amazed of the strength and beauty of these women. Dressed in an abundance of barrettes, pink, gold, and orange marigolds strewn through their hair, and 3 nose rings (1 septum and 1 on each nostril) create their distinct look fit for the Niyamigri Hills royalty.