The Indigenous Eye

Inca Photographer Martín Chambi Jiménez

Inca Photographer Martín Chambi Jiménez

One of the problems with photography as an art form is that the viewpoint is usually that of a European or North American. It would have been wonderful to have photographs taken by native Navaho or Tibetan or Zulu photographers so that we could see the world from their unique perspective. One rare exception is the work of a native of Cusco, Peru, the indigenous Inca Martín Chambi Jiménez (1891-1973). Through his eyes, we see the locals of Cusco, the ruins of Machu Picchu, the back country natives, and whatever caught his eye. Below, for instance, is portrait of four young Quechuan campesinas:

Peruvian Campesinas

Peruvian Campesinas

And here is an eagle’s eye view of the ruins at Machu Picchu:

Overlooking the Ruins

Overlooking the Ruins

If you would like to see a collection of his photographs, you can find some interesting examples on Google Image.