18 Stunning Portraits From The Photo Series “The Ethnic Origins Of Beauty” By Natalia Ivanova

Published 9 months ago

In a world often divided by differences, Natalia Ivanova, a Russian photojournalist and producer, embarked on a remarkable and expansive project titled “The Ethnic Origins Of Beauty.” Her vision was simple yet profound: to celebrate the astonishing ethnic diversity of humanity and explore the beauty within the unique cultures, traditions, and heritage of women from various ethnic backgrounds.

Natalia’s project, which has been years in the making, is nothing short of a cultural odyssey. Through breathtaking portraits and insightful interviews, she invites us to step into the shoes of women from diverse ethnic groups around the globe. The project aims to honor their stories, traditions, and, most importantly, the essence of what makes each culture beautiful.

Check out some of her stunning shots in the gallery below.

More info: Instagram | Facebook | lesoriginesdelabeaute.com | youtube.com

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#1 Persian

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

Persians (Persian فارسی‌زبان‎ [fɒːrsi-zæbɒːn]) are an Iranian people, the main population of Iran, an ethnolinguistic community of numerous regional population groups in Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, whose native language is Persian, represented by various dialects. The largest and leading component of the Iranian nation, united by a common sedentary agricultural and urban culture.

Location:
Making up slightly more than half (according to various estimates, from 56% to 63%) of the population of Iran, the Persians live throughout the country, but most of them are concentrated in the central, southern and eastern regions. The traditional areas of Persian settlement are agricultural artificially irrigated oases along permanent rivers or in the foothills, where the karezes come to the surface. With the onset of active urbanization, Persian-speaking cities are rapidly growing, many of which have turned into industrial cities with a population of over a million (Tehran, Mashhad, Keredj, Isfahan, Shiraz, Qom).

Origin:
The ancient Persians were originally an ancient Iranian people who had migrated to the region of Persis (corresponding to the modern-day Iranian province of Fars) by the 9th century BCE.
The Persians are known to be descendants of the Aryans, who had originally migrated from Central Asia or South Asia (Indus Valley).Together with their compatriot allies, they established and ruled some of the world’s most powerful empires that are well-recognized for their massive cultural, political, and social influence, which covered much of the territory and population of the ancient world. Throughout history, the Persian people have contributed greatly to art and science.Persian literature is one of the world’s most prominent literary traditions.

Language:
The Persian language belongs to the western group of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Modern Persian is classified as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of the Sasanian Empire, itself a continuation of Old Persian, which was used by the time of the Achaemenid Empire. Old Persian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages attested in original text.The oldest attested text written in Old Persian is from the Behistun Inscription, a multilingual inscription from the time of Achaemenid ruler Darius the Great carved on a cliff in western Iran.

Religion:
In Sasanian Iran III – VII centuries AD zoroastrianism was the state religion, and the majority of the Iranian-speaking population professed this religion. After the Arab conquest, the religion, deprived of state support and discriminated against at the official level, began to rapidly loose followers. Nevertheless, until the 9th-10th centuries, the Zoroastrian Persians made up a significant part of the population, especially in the northern, southern and eastern regions of Iran. The policy of the Abbasids made Islam more international and opened the way for the wide conversion of non-Arab peoples, including Persian-speaking ones. Initially, Sunnism dominated Iran, and many famous Persian scholars of the early Middle Ages were Sunnis (Abu Hanifa, Abu Davud, Hakim Nishapuri, Ghazali, al-Bukhari, Abu Isa at-Tirmizi, and others). Nevertheless, Isna-Ashari Shiism gradually began to spread from Iraqi centers. The final consolidation of this branch of Islam in Iran is associated with the rule of the Safavid dynasty, who declared Isna-Ashari Shiism as the state religion and launched a wide-ranging campaign to convert (often violently) the Sunnis. Today, Shiism – the state religion of Iran – is practiced by more than 90% of the population and the vast majority of Persian speakers.

Total population: about 55 million

#2 Lezgin

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

Lezgins (Lezgian: Лезгияр, IPA: lezgijar) are a Northeast #Caucasian ethnic group native predominantly to southern #Dagestan, a republic of #Russia, and northeastern #Azerbaijan.
Lezgin society has traditionally been egalitarian and organized around many autonomous local clans, called syhils (сихилар).
The Lezgian language belongs to the #Lezgic branch of the Northeast Caucasian language family that have been spoken in the region before the introduction of Indo-European languages.
#Lezgins like other Northeast Caucasian majority are Sunni Muslims

TOTAL POPULATION: about 800 000

#3 Haitian

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The Haitians are a people of the Caribbean, the main population of the Republic of Haiti comprises the western part of the island of Haiti Group of the Greater Antilles. In anthropological terms – 90% Negroid, mulattoes others.
The Africans of West Africa were imported by the French to work in the plantations. As part of the national liberation struggle (1791-1804) most whites fled the island, some were killed. Haiti – the first country in the Caribbean and Latin America gained its independence (1804).
Formally they are Christian believers from different directions. There are Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Adventists 7 days. In fact, the voodoo of African descent is still very popular.

Language – Haitian Creole, which is Creole, developed on the basis of the French.

Total population: 7.2 million.

#4 Ossetian

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The #Ossetians (#Ossetian: ирæттæ, irættæ) are an Iranian ethnic group of the #Caucasus Mountains, indigenous to the region known as #Ossetia. They speak #Ossetic, an Iranic language of the Eastern branch of the Indo-European languages family, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language. The Ossetians are mostly Eastern Orthodox Christian, with a Muslim minority.

Total population: 720 000

#5 Nuer

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The Nuer people are a #Nilotic ethnic group concentrated in the Greater Upper Nile region of South Sudan. They also live in the Ethiopian region of Gambella. The Nuer speak the Nuer language, which belongs to the Nilotic language family. They are the second largest ethnic group in #SouthSudan. The Nuer people are pastoralists who herd cattle for a living. Their cattle serve as companions and define their lifestyle.
The Nuer people have historically been undercounted because of the semi-nomadic lifestyle. They also have a culture of counting only older members of the family. They believe that counting the number could result in misfortune and prefer to report fewer children than they have.

TOTAL POPULATION: about 2.8 million

#6 Veps

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

Veps, or Vepsians (Veps: vepsläižed), are a small Finno-Ugric people, who speak the Veps language, which belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic languages , traditionally living in the territory of Karelia, Vologda and Leningrad regions in Russia.
Nowadays, almost all Vepsians are fluent in Russian. The young generation in general does not speak their native language.

The Orthodoxy spread among the Veps in the 11th-12th centuries, but pre-Christian beliefs, for example, in the house-spirit (pert’ižand), were preserved for a long time; patients seek help from the healer (noid)

Total population: about 6400

#7 Russian

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

#Russians are an #East #Slavic ethnic group native to Eastern Europe, the most numerous #ethnic group in #Europe and one of the largest in the world with a population of about 140 million people worldwide. Roughly 116 million ethnic Russians live in #Russia and about 16 million more live in the neighboring countries. A significant number of Russians, around 4,6 million, live elsewhere in the world, mostly in the Americas and Western Europe, but also in other places of Eastern Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
#Russian language is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages.
Russians are historically #Orthodox Christians by religion.

Total population: 137 million

#8 Syrian

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

Syrians (Arabic: سُورِيُّون, Sūriyyīn) are an Eastern Mediterranean ethnic group indigenous to the #Levant. They share common #Levantine Semitic roots. The cultural and linguistic heritage of the Syrian people is a blend of both indigenous elements and the foreign cultures that have come to inhabit the region of #Syria over the course of thousands of years. The mother tongue of most Syrians is Levantine Arabic, which came to replace the former mother tongue, #Aramaic, in the aftermath of the Muslim conquest of the Levant in the 7th century.

The term Syrian was imposed upon #Arameans of modern Levant by the Romans. Pompey created the province of Syria, which included modern-day Lebanon and Syria west of the Euphrates, framing the province as a regional social category with civic implications. Plutarch described the indigenous people of this newly created Roman province as “Syrians”. Posidonius noted that the people called Syrians by the Greeks refer to themselves as Arameans.

Syrians are of diverse origins; the main influence came from ancient Semitic peoples of the Levant such as the Arameans, as well as populations from Mesopotamia and modern-day Arabia, with additional Greco-Roman influence.

TOTAL POPULATION: about 20 million

#9 Khakas

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The Khakas or Khakass (Khakas: Хакас тілі, Xakas tili, Hakas tëlë), are a Turkic indigenous people of Siberia, who live in the republic of Khakassia, Russia. They speak the Khakas language.

The Khakas people account for only about 12% of the total population of the republic. The Khakas people traditionally practiced nomadic herding, agriculture, hunting, and fishing.
Traditional religion is shamanism (Tengrism).

In the 19th century, many Khakas were converted to Orthodoxy (Russian Orthodox Church).

Total population : about 75 000

#10 Moroccan

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

Moroccans (Arabic: المغاربة, romanized: al-Maġāriba, Berber languages: ⵉⵎⵖⵕⴰⴱⵉⵢⵏ) are a #Maghrebi ethnic group and nation of mainly #Berber and #Arab descent inhabiting or originating from the country of #Morocco in North Africa and who share a common Moroccan culture and ancestry.

In addition to the 37 million Moroccans in Morocco, there is a large Moroccan diaspora in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain

Morocco’s official languages are Standard Arabic and Standard Berber.
The majority of the population speaks Moroccan Arabic, spoken by 92% of the population.

French is taught universally and still serves as Morocco’s primary language of commerce and economics; it is also used in education, sciences, government and most education fields.

RELIGION: mainly Islam (Sunni, Shia, Sufi , Koranism ), minorities practicing Judaism and Christianity

TOTAL POPULATION: about 45 million

#11 Haitian

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The Haitians are a people of the Caribbean, the main population of the Republic of Haiti comprises the western part of the island of Haiti Group of the Greater Antilles. In anthropological terms – 90% Negroid, mulattoes others.

The Africans of West Africa were imported by the French to work in the plantations. As part of the national liberation struggle (1791-1804) most whites fled the island, some were killed. Haiti – the first country in the Caribbean and Latin America gained its independence (1804).

Formally they are Christian believers from different directions. There are Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Adventists 7 days. In fact, the voodoo of African descent is still very popular.

Language – Haitian Creole, which is Creole, developed on the basis of the French.

Total population: 7.2 million

#12 Nenets

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The Nenets, also known as #Samoyed, are a #Samoyedic ethnic group #native to northern #Arctic #Russia, Russian Far North.

Most of them living in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District stretching along the coastline of the Arctic Ocean near the Arctic Circle between Kola and Taymyr peninsulas.

The Nenets people speak either the Tundra or Forest Nenets languages, which are mutually unintelligible. In the Russian Federation they have a status of indigenous small-numbered peoples.Today, the Nenets people face numerous challenges from the state and oil and gas companies that threaten the environment and their way of life. As a result, many cite a rise in locally based activism.

The traditional occupation of the Nenets is large-scale reindeer herding. Several thousand Nenets reindeer herders roam the #Yamal Peninsula, owning about 500,000 reindeer. The traditional dwelling of the Nenets is a conical tent, a chum.

They have a shamanistic and animistic belief system which stresses respect for the land and its resources
TOTAL POPULATION: about 45 000

#13 Hazara

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The #Hazaras (Persian: هزاره, romanized: Hazāra; Hazaragi: آزره, romanized: Āzra) are an ethnic group native to and primarily residing in the #Hazaristan (#Hazarajat) region in central #Afghanistan and generally scattered throughout Afghanistan. They are one of the largest ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and are also significant minority groups in neighboring Pakistan, mostly in Quetta, and as well as in Iran. They speak the #Hazaragi dialect of Persian, which is mutually intelligible with Dari, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan.

Despite being one of the principal population elements of Afghanistan, the origins of the Hazara people have not been fully reconstructed. Genetic and linguistic analysis show that Hazaras are a racially mixed group with Hazaras having varying degrees of Mongolic,Turkic and Iranic ancestry.

Hazaras predominantly practice Islam, mostly the Shi’a, with significant Sunni, some Isma’ili and Non-denominational Muslim minorities.

Hazaras are considered to be a persecuted group in Afghanistan, and their persecution has occurred various times across previous decades.

Total population: about 8 millions

#14 Sinhalese

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The Sinhalese (#Sinhala: සිංහල ජාතිය, romanized: Sinhala Jātiya), also known as Hela (Sinhala: හෙළ) are an Indo-Aryan #ethnic group of the island of Sri Lanka. They constitute about 75% of the Sri Lankan population. The Sinhalese identity is based on language, historical heritage and religion. The Sinhalese people speak Sinhala, an insular Indo-Aryan language and are predominantly Theravada Buddhists, although a small percentage of Sinhalese follow branches of Christianity. The Sinhalese are mostly found in North Central, Central, South and West Sri Lanka. After colonisation, they were broadly divided into two respective groups: The up country Sinhalese of the central mountainous regions, and the low country Sinhalese of the coastal regions. Although they speak the same language, both groups observe differing cultural customs.

Total population: 17 million

#15 Shugnan

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

Shugnans (self-name in Shugni : xuǧnůn / хуг̌ну̊н ) – one of the #Pamir peoples.
Shugnans live in the historical region of Shugnan, divided between the #Gorno-#Badakhshan Autonomous Region of #Tajikistan and the Badakhshan province of #Afghanistan.

The #Shugnan language belongs to the Northern Pamir (Shugnano-Rushan) subgroup of the eastern branch of the #Iranian group of the Indo-European language family. It has Badzhuv and Shahdara dialects.

Most of the Shugnans are Shia Muslims (Ismailis). According to legend, Ismaili Islam was brought to Badakhshan by the religious leader Nasir Khosrov around 1000 AD. NS.

Total number: about 110 000

#16 Crimean Tatar

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

#Crimean Tatars (Crimean Tatar: qırımtatarlar, къырымтатарлар) or Crimeans are a #Turkic ethnic group who are an indigenous people of the Crimean Peninsula ( #Crimea ) along the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe.

The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, uniting #Cumans that appeared in Crimea in the 10th century with other peoples who ever inhabited Crimea since ancient times and gradually underwent Tatarization, including the Greeks, Italians and Goths.

Today, Crimean Tatars constitute approximately 15% of the population of Crimea. There remains a large diaspora in Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The Crimean Tatars are subdivided into three sub-ethnic groups:
– the Tats (not to be confused with the Iranic Tat people, living in the Caucasus region) who used to inhabit the mountainous Crimea before 1944
– the Yaliboylu who lived on the southern coast of the peninsula before 1944 and practiced Christianity until the 14th century;
– the Noğays (not to be confused with related Nogai people, living now in Southern Russia) — former inhabitants of the Crimean steppe.

The Crimean Tatar language (qırımtatar tili, къырымтатар тили) is a Kipchak Turkic language.
The vast majority of Crimean Tatars are Sunni Muslims.

TOTAL POPULATION : about 540 000

#17 Moksha

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

The Mokshas (also Mokshans, Moksha people, in Moksha: Мокшет/Mokšet) is an ethnic group belonging to the Volgaic branch of the Finno-Ugric peoples.They live in the Russian Federation, mostly in the western part of the Republic of Mordovia, near the Volga River and the Moksha River.

Their native language is Mokshan, one of the two surviving members of the Mordvinic branch of the Uralic language family. Most Mokshas belong to the Russian Orthodox Church; other religions practiced by Mokshas include Lutheranism and paganism.

Total population : about 12000

#18 Moroccan

Image source: lesoriginesdelabeaute

Moroccans (Arabic: المغاربة, romanized: al-Maġāriba, Berber languages: ⵉⵎⵖⵕⴰⴱⵉⵢⵏ) are a #Maghrebi ethnic group and nation of mainly #Berber and #Arab descent inhabiting or originating from the country of #Morocco in North Africa and who share a common Moroccan culture and ancestry.

In addition to the 37 million Moroccans in Morocco, there is a large Moroccan diaspora in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain

Morocco’s official languages are Standard Arabic and Standard Berber.
The majority of the population speaks Moroccan Arabic, spoken by 92% of the population.

French is taught universally and still serves as Morocco’s primary language of commerce and economics; it is also used in education, sciences, government and most education fields.

RELIGION: mainly Islam (Sunni, Shia, Sufi , Koranism ), minorities practicing Judaism and Christianity

TOTAL POPULATION: about 45 million

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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ethnic diversity, ethnic women portraits, Natalia Ivanova, portrait photography, The Ethnic Origins of Beauty, Women from various ethnic backgrounds
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