A story in the August 1999 issue documented "vanishing cultures." The opening photo was of these Ariaal warriors in Kenya, whose tribe remained nomadic in spite of government pressure to settle.

Ariaal Warriors

A story in the August 1999 issue documented "vanishing cultures." The opening photo was of these Ariaal warriors in Kenya, whose tribe remained nomadic in spite of government pressure to settle.
Photograph by Maria Stenzel, Nat Geo Image Collection

31 stunning vintage images found in the Nat Geo archives

Last month, I was inspired by our August 1999 issue on global cultures to curate images of traditional dress from around the world. One of the stories in the issue opened with a striking image by photographer Maria Stenzel of Ariaal warriors dressed in colorful fabrics in Kenya. The tribe remained nomadic despite government pressure to settle. (Related: Why Iran's nomads are fading away.)

For a story in June 1997, photographer Karen Kasmauski captured a detailed image of dancers wearing vibrant garments preparing to perform Yotsudake, an elegant Indigenous dance, in Ginowan, a city in Okinawa, Japan. The story documented efforts to celebrate Okinawa's unique heritage and identity, separate from Japan's influence and America's military presence. (Related: Why Okinawans are some of the world’s healthiest and happiest people.)

And on the island of St. Thomas, photographer Charles Allmon photographed a group of people dressed in stylish saris as they await their review at a Carnival parade competition in late spring. This image published in the February 1956 issue. (Related: These vibrant pictures show the Caribbean's Carnival "rebellion.")

Breann Birkenbuel is the editor for Photo of the Day. Melody Rowell writes and researches the captions.

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