15 Most Shocking Photos Taken From Tribes Around The World

Leena Das

It’s funny to think that tribes still exist today. In a world where technology dominates and inventions are being created everyday, we forget that there are tribes all over the world that still preserve their old traditions and cultures, no matter how advanced our society has become. These tribes are located in parts of Africa, South Africa, Asia, and even in the United States. They have all continued to keep their practices alive. Uncontacted people, also referred to as lost tribes, have decided to isolate themselves from global civilization. Surprisingly, there are still many isolated people in the world. This list of 15 most shocking photos taken from tribes around the world show just how isolated people live today and the rituals that are still being practiced. The rituals on this list sound absurd and even bizarre, but these tribes continue to respect their old ways.

The tribes on this list have a unique way of living, and it is intriguing to learn more about them. We are so consumed with technology that we forget these kinds of people and tribes even exist today. Check out these 15 shocking photos of tribes from around the world and the traditions and rituals they still perform.

15. The Fulani Tribe – Boys Are Whipped While Girls Have Their Faces Tattooed

The Fulani People are located in Benin, West Africa and are the first group of people in West Africa to convert to Islam. They still live a nomadic lifestyle and are made up of mostly herders and traders. The Fulani people consider beauty an important part of life. Women of the Fulani tribe tattoo their faces before they become adults. The process takes several hours and is performed with a sharpened piece of wood. Boys, on the other hand, must go through a brutal initiation into adulthood, which consists of whipping one another to show bravery. Whoever whips the hardest is called a man and is showered with talc powder and have coins pressed against their foreheads.

14. The Matausa Tribe – Test Of Manhood Is Extreme

The Matausa Tribe is located in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and is known for their extreme rites of passage. Before becoming a man, young boys have wooden canes put in their throats until they vomit. This form of passage is considered a Matausa Cleansing. Reeds are forced up their nostrils and tongues are stabbed until blood is sufficiently purified. The highlands of Papua New Guinea are very remote, and the people in the Matausa Tribe are among the most isolated people in the world. These tests of manhood are extreme, and it’s shocking to learn that they are being practiced to this day.

13. The Ogiek Tribe – On The Verge Of Becoming Conservation Refugees

The Ogiek, also known as Okiek, people live in Northern Tanzania in Southern Kenya. These tribal people are hunters and gatherers and still keep many traditions alive, especially for young children. Boys and girls paint themselves white to look like a wild creature and are supposedly haunted by a mythical beast. During that time, they are secluded from adults and are also circumcised. They hear roars at night and become adults when their elders show them the instrument used to make the roar. The Ogiek people are also in danger of being evicted from the land they live in. If this happens, they will become “conservation refugees.”

12. The Sambia Tribe – Perform Highly Unusual Ceremonies

The people of the Sambia Tribe are located in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. This tribe is well-known for their acts of semen ingestion practices with young boys. The initiation of becoming a part of the tribe begins with a boy being taken away from his mother at the age of nine and put in an all-male hut for ten years. During that time, they engage in nose bleeding, forced vomiting, and ingest semen for purification. The relationship between a man and a woman are very complex in this tribe with rules and restrictions between the two of them.

11. The Xhosa Tribe – Rituals Involve Intense Seclusion

The Xhosa Tribe is located in Southern Africa. This group of people continues traditions and rituals inherited from their forefathers. People in this tribe go through graduation stages as they get older so that they are assigned a place in the community. From a young age, boys are shaved, taken into the mountains, and live in seclusion in a hut built by their family. During this time, they are circumcised and are not allowed back into the tribe until they have healed.

10. The Sepik River Tribe – Men’s Bodies Are Cut To Look Like The Skin Of An Alligator

The Sepik River Tribe carries a ritual that would make you quiver. Located in Papua New Guinea, the tribe’s rite of passage involved public humiliation. Adults use sharp razor blades to cut young men all over their bodies in a pattern similar to the skin of an alligator. This rite of passage is performed in a Spirit House, where women are not welcomed. During the cutting process, a tribe member would make 450 cuts, starting from the chest. Once that is completed, the man is taken outside where he has his back cut in front of his relatives. It is one very bloody tradition.

9. The Vanuatu Tribe – Practice Intentional Cranial Deformation

The Vanuatu Tribe is located in the Republic of Vanuatu, a Pacific island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. What makes this tribe extremely odd is their practice of intentional cranial deformation. Cranial deformation is a form of body alteration, where the skull is intentionally deformed. The process starts at a young age, which involves applying force to flatten the skull. Head binding is a common form of this practice and begins at infancy.

8. The Mentawai Tribe – Practice Teeth Sharpening

The Mentawai Tribe has a population of approximately 64,000 people who live in an island in West Sumatra in Indonesia. They are most known for their tattoos, but also practice teeth sharpening. Women take part in this tradition because they believe it makes them appear more attractive to men. In this beautification process, women would sharpen their teeth with chisels. This ritual is nothing new and many people from around the world have had the opportunity to document the teeth sharpening process and witness it in action.

7. The Matis Tribe – Men Are Injected With Giant Leaf Frog Poison Before A Hunt

The Matis Tribe is made up of indigenous people from Brazil. They have a tiny population of only 290 people. These people practice hunting and agriculture. Young boys prepare for a hunt by having a bitter poison dumped in their eyes to “improve” their vision. After that, they are beaten and whipped and are injected with the poison of the Giant Leaf Frog using wooden needles. Yikes! 30 years ago, the tribe had contact with the outside world, and younger Matis have been heavily influenced by the modern world, while elders want to preserve the old traditions.

6. The Satere-Mawe Tribe – Men Must Wear Gloves Filled With Poisonous Ants

The Satere-Mawe Tribe is located in the Brazilian Amazon, and there are roughly ten thousand members. Their rituals and customs seem extremely painful and not for the faint of heart. The Mawe test a young man’s strength and bravery by having them wear gloves covered in ants. This may not sound so bad, but the ants in the Amazon are among some of the most poisonous. A single sting can result in hours of pain and paralysis. To be considered a man, boys as young as twelve stick their hands in these gloves filled with ants with stingers facing inwards. They must wear these gloves for an agonizing twenty minutes.

5. The Ticuna Tribe – Young Girls Are Subjected To Intense Rituals

The Ticuna Tribe is also an indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon. The Ticuna people have a ritual for young girls, which involve painting their bodies all black with a clan symbol on their foreheads during menstruation. All of their hair are pulled out and must jump over fires. This ritual is still used today, except it is less severe. Historically, the people of the Ticuna Tribe practiced Shamanism, but slowly, a number of Christian missionaries have invaded their land, changing the members’ lifestyle and beliefs.

4. The Asaro Tribe – Men Wear Masks Covered With Pig Teeth and Shells

The Asaro Tribe is located in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea and is recognized for the masks they wear. These “mud men” are painted white and wear masks covered with pig teeth and shells. These mud masks are rather spooky and were used when the men went on raids. However, the Asaro men are said to be extremely welcoming and are happy to explain their culture to the outside world.

3. The Maasai Tribe – Replaced Lion Hunting For Olympics

The Maasai Tribe is located in Southern Kenya and would stalk and kill lions with just a spear. If they killed a lion, they would be considered a warrior. However, this practice ended since it was harming the lion population. The lions soon became protected by the government animal legislation. The tribe replaced lion hunting with a Maasai Olympic competition. Men are involved in a number of games, including throwing, running, and the high jump.

2. The Dani Tribe – Women Must Amputate Fingers Whenever A Relative Passes Away

The Dani Tribe is an isolated Indonesian tribe that has a gruesome way of showing respect to the dead. Women are expected to amputate a finger every time a relative passes away. This is a sign of respect and a sign of grieving. They are considered one of the most isolated tribes in the world. The Indonesian government has banned this ritual, but you can still see this tradition on older women.

1. The Mandan Tribe – Boys Must Offer Their Fingers To The Spirits

The Mandan are a Native American tribe that lived along the Missouri River and are now located in North Dakota. They have a population of 1,171 people as of 2010. An important ritual that the Mandan people observe is the Mandan Okipa Ceremony. In this ceremony, boys fast for four days without sleeping. On the fifth day, the boys are taken into a hut where wooden skewers are forced through their chests, and they are hung from the ceiling. They must smile through the entire process until they pass out. After they wake up, they cut off their little fingers as an offering to the spirits.

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