Residing in the low Himalayan hills of northeastern India and Myanmar (Burma), the Nagas are a people faced with both tradition and transition. This very diverse community is divided into a number of tribes and sub-tribes and speaks as many as 30 different languages. In Nagas: Hidden Hill People of India photographer Pablo Bartholomew offers a visual anthropology of these historical headhunters, particularly the preservation of their traditional culture and their interaction with and adoption of Western religion and influence.
What began as a childhood curiosity, rooted in stories of his father’s encounter with a Naga tribe, has grown to become Pablo Bartholomew’s extensive exploration of what unifies this diverse community in the foothills of the Himalayas. Bartholomew, an independent photographer currently based in New Delhi, India, first learned about photography from watching his father Richard Bartholomew, an art critic and photographer, work. In his early teens he began to photograph family, friends, and his immediate community in the documentary tradition, and in 1975 won the World Press Photo’s first prize for his series on Morphine Addicts in India.
From 1975-1995, Bartholomew worked as a photojournalist, recording societies in conflict and transition. During this time he also held a number of fellowships, including one from the Asian Cultural Council, New York to photograph Indian immigrants in the USA and one from the Institute of Comparative Studies in Human Culture, Norway to photograph the Naga tribes in India. Bartholomew is a regular photography instructor and his own work has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Business Week, National Geographic, and Geo, as well as being featured in numerous international exhibitions.
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