Photographer Kiliii Yuyan is dedicated to telling the story of Native cultures and natural history in stunning photographs. For his project Living Wild, he joined a group of people from the Stone Age Living Project. These people want to live the primitive life in the way of hunter-gatherers, away from modernity. During their month in the wilderness, Yuyan documented their activities. He also created very formal looking portraits of the members of the group, who look very striking in their Paleolithic outfits.
Kiliii is himself is a descendant of the Han Chinese and Nanai/Hezhe people of Siberia. He is also a trained wilderness expert and traditional kayak builder.
KY: I have spent the last 15 years exploring the traditional skills of Nanai and other Native cultures, including wilderness subsistence and traditional kayak-building. It’s led me to documenting the stories of modern indigenous peoples around the world, from urban communities to remote villages in the Arctic. Those communities have shown me what it is to see the land through indigenous eyes.
KY: As our modern needs make increasing demands on the land and its resources, indigenous knowledge is evermore important to understanding ecology. These communities have balanced competing human needs with the preservation of wildlife for thousands of years. There’s an urgency to cultural collaboration—each day, indigenous cultures come under threat from loss of language, identity, land, and hunting rights. As we lose their stories, we lose the knowledge that gives all human beings a chance to shape a future on this amazing planet.
All images © Kiliii Yuyan