April 22, 2021

‘The Ethnic Origins Of Beauty’ project Celebrates the Ethnic Diversity Around the World through the Beauty

The world we live in is filled with beautiful, unique human beings who come from diverse backgrounds, races, cultures. As much as the percentage of society accepting this fact is slowly increasing, there’s still that part of the world that wants to deny the existence of people with different races, cultures, traditions. To highlight the importance of this matter, Paris-based Russian photographer, producer, and documentary filmmaker Natalia Ivanova has created the project The Ethnic Origins of Beauty.

The Ethnic Origins of Beauty (Les origines de la beauté) is an author’s documentary, artistic, and research project about the ethnic diversity of mankind presented through the beauty of women of all ethnic groups of the world.

“The objective of this project is to show the real scale of ethnocultural diversity in a full, systematic and creative way; to illustrate each and every distinctive ethnicity, however small it is, and whatever its official status,” says Ivanova when reached out by Earthwonders. 

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

Abkhazians or the Abkhaz (Abkhaz: Аҧсуа, Apswa) are a Caucasian ethnic group, mainly living in Abkhazia, a disputed region on the Black Sea coast. A large Abkhaz diaspora population resides in Turkey, the origins of which lie in the emigration from the Caucasus in the late 19th century known as muhajirism. Many Abkhaz also live in other parts of the former Soviet Union, particularly in Russia and Ukraine. The Abkhaz language belongs to the isolate Northwest Caucasian language family, also known as Abkhaz–Adyghe or North Pontic family, which groups the dialectic continuum spoken by the Abaza–Abkhaz (Abazgi) and Adyghe ("Circassians" in English). The Abkhaz is closely ethnically related to Circassian. The Abkhaz people are principally divided into Abkhazian Orthodox Christian and Sunni Muslim (Hanafi) communities (prevalent in Abkhazia and Turkey respectively) but the indigenous non-Abrahamic beliefs have always been strong. Total population: about 200 000

Abkhazians or the Abkhaz (Abkhaz: Аҧсуа, Apswa) are a Caucasian ethnic group, mainly living in Abkhazia, a disputed region on the Black Sea coast. A large Abkhaz diaspora population resides in Turkey, the origins of which lie in the emigration from the Caucasus in the late 19th century known as muhajirism. Many Abkhaz also live in other parts of the former Soviet Union, particularly in Russia and Ukraine. The Abkhaz language belongs to the isolate Northwest Caucasian language family, also known as Abkhaz–Adyghe or North Pontic family, which groups the dialectic continuum spoken by the Abaza–Abkhaz (Abazgi) and Adyghe (“Circassians” in English). The Abkhaz is closely ethnically related to Circassian. The Abkhaz people are principally divided into Abkhazian Orthodox Christian and Sunni Muslim (Hanafi) communities (prevalent in Abkhazia and Turkey respectively) but the indigenous non-Abrahamic beliefs have always been strong. Total population: about 200 000

“To reach the hearts of the broadest international and multicultural audience, as well as to communicate about our differences in a positive and aesthetic way, the language of beauty has been chosen.

Every single ethnic group in the project will be presented by beautiful, intelligent and charismatic young women (by photo-portraits and video interviews), who talk about their people, culture and traditions through the lens of their own lives, experiences and impressions,” explains Ivanova.

The Altaians or Altai are a Turkic people living in the Siberian Altai Republic and Altai Krai ( the federal subjects of Russia).
Altai is the ancestral home of the modern Turkic peoples of the world . Here in 552 ancient Turks created their own state – Khanate . It formed the primeval language of the Turks , have spread among all peoples kaganate thanks to the emergence of writing in connection with the state of the Turks , known today as ” the Orkhon- Yenisei runic writing “.All this gave the appearance of linguistics the term ” family Altaic ” languages (which , according to its supporters include Turkic, Mongolian, Tungus -Manchu, and Japanese- language ryukyuskaya branches , as well as Korean – isolate). Altai is the center of Eurasia, in different historical eras united different ethnic groups and cultures .The traditional religion of Altaians is shamanism . Before 1917 were subjected to Christianization. Total number: about 80 000

Based on these interviews there will be created a 45-minute film-episodes on each ethnic group. These films form a multi-part documentary cycle, which is already being broadcast on the project’s YouTube channels in three languages. French : Les origines de la beauté, English : The Ethnic Origins Of Beauty, and  Russian : Национальные истоки красоты.

The Anglo-Australians are the people, the main population of Australia. They also live in UK, USA, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and other countries. The ancestors of the Anglo-Australians were emigrants from England, Ireland, and Scotland. Also, Italian, German, Dutch immigrants contributed to the ethnogenesis of the people. The settlement of Australia from the British Isles began in 1788.
According to religion, Anglo-Australians are Christian Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians (descendants of the Scots) and Catholics (descendants of the Irish) are found. The language is English (a special variant known as Australian English). Total population: about 12 million.

There’s a set of criteria these women have to meet in order to be able to represent their own ethnic group. They have to be 18-35 years old ; belonging to one ethnic group for at least three generations ; natural beauty face ; awareness and knowledge of personal ethnic origins, culture and traditions of represented people.

Chechens (English pronunciation: /tʃʼɛtʃɛn/, Chechen: Hохчий Noxçiy) constitute a native Northeast Caucasian ethnic group of the Nakh peoples originating in the North Caucasus region of Eastern Europe. The majority of Chechens today live in the Chechen Republic, a subdivision of the Russian Federation. Chechen society has traditionally been egalitarian and organized around many autonomous local clans, called teips.
The main language of the Chechen people is Chechen. Chechen belongs to the family of Nakh languages (Northeast Caucasian languages).
Chechnya is predominantly Muslim. Chechens are overwhelmingly adherents to the Shafi’i Madhhab of Sunni Islam, the republic having converted to Islam between the 16th and the 19th centuries.Total population: 1,7 million

This project has had quite some big achievements and acknowledges since its beginning in 2012. The team has managed to capture more than 250 photo and video portraits representing more than 110 ethnic groups from around the world, it  has received the acknowledgment of UNESCO and was first officially presented at an exhibition devoted to international women’s day in March 2014, at its Parisian headquarters, and also it has attracted the attention of international universities (University of York (UK), University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, National University of Singapore, University of Waterloo in Canada, and others) and established cooperation for using the portrait collection of world nationalities for scientific research. Despite all that, in February 2021 photos and videos of the “The Ethnic Origins of Beauty” project have become part of a permanent exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology of India, in a pavilion dedicated to the human genome and ethnic diversity, initiated by the museum itself.

Chechens (English pronunciation: /tʃʼɛtʃɛn/, Chechen: Hохчий Noxçiy) constitute a native Northeast Caucasian ethnic group of the Nakh peoples originating in the North Caucasus region of Eastern Europe. The majority of Chechens today live in the Chechen Republic, a subdivision of the Russian Federation. Chechen society has traditionally been egalitarian and organized around many autonomous local clans, called teips.
The main language of the Chechen people is Chechen. Chechen belongs to the family of Nakh languages (Northeast Caucasian languages).
Chechnya is predominantly Muslim. Chechens are overwhelmingly adherents to the Shafi’i Madhhab of Sunni Islam, the republic having converted to Islam between the 16th and the 19th centuries. Total population: 1,7 million

This project surely comes with a high educational significance, spreading knowledge over diverse ethnic groups around the world, seeking to contribute to the harmonization and strengthening of tolerance in inter-ethnic relations through the search for beauty in every person, equal attention to every ethnicity, respect and positive interest for the particularities of each other, encouraging intercultural dialogue.

The Chelkans (native name – Shalgan) are a small Turkic people living in southern Siberia. Those residing in Altai Republic are sometimes grouped together with the Altay ethnic group and those in Kemerovo Oblast are grouped with the Shors; however, they are recognized as a separate ethnic group by ethnographers. The Chelkan language belongs to the North Altai languages (Turkic group of the Altai language family). Total population: 1200.

Icelanders (Icelandic: Íslendingar) are a North Germanic ethnic group and nation, native to Iceland, mostly speaking the Germanic language Icelandic. Icelanders established the country of Iceland in 930 A.D. when Althingi (Parliament) met for the first time. Iceland came under the reign of Norwegian, Swedish and Danish kings but regained full sovereignty and independence from the Danish monarchy on 1 December 1918, when Kingdom of Iceland was established. On 17 June 1944, the monarchy was abolished and the Icelandic republic was founded. The language spoken is Icelandic, a North Germanic language, and Lutheranism is the predominant religion. TOTAL POPULATION: 450 000.

Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 Yehudim, Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated. Jews are often identified as belonging to one of two major groups: the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim. Ashkenazim, or “Germanics” (Ashkenaz meaning “Germany” in Hebrew), are so named denoting their German Jewish cultural and geographical origins, while Sephardim, or “Hispanics” (Sefarad meaning “Spain/Hispania” or “Iberia” in Hebrew), are so named denoting their Spanish/Portuguese Jewish cultural and geographic origins. The more common term in Israel for many of those broadly called Sephardim, is Mizrahim (lit. “Easterners”, Mizrach being “East” in Hebrew), that is, in reference to the diverse collection of Middle Eastern and North African Jews who are often, as a group, referred to collectively as Sephardim (together with Sephardim proper) for liturgical reasons, although Mizrahi Jewish groups and Sephardi Jews proper are ethnically distinct. Hebrew is the liturgical language of Judaism (termed lashon ha-kodesh, “the holy tongue”), the language in which most of the Hebrew scriptures (Tanakh) were composed, and the daily speech of the Jewish people for centuries. Modern Hebrew was spoken by over nine million people worldwide in 2013. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only Canaanite language still spoken, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language. Total number: about 14 millions

Karelians (Karelian: karjalaižet) are a Baltic-Finnic ethnic group who are native to the Northern European historical region of Karelia, which is today split between Finland and Russia. In Russia, Karelians mostly live in the Republic of Karelia where there are the designated ethnic group and in other adjacent north-western parts of the country. In Finland, Karelians traditionally live in the regions of Savonia and Northern and Southern Karelia. The Karelian language is closely related to the Finnish language. The majority of Russian Karelians are Eastern Orthodox Christians. The majority of Finnish Karelians are Lutherans. Total population: about 90 000.

Khmer people are a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Cambodia, accounting for over 97% of the country’s 15.9 million people. They speak the Khmer language, which is part of the larger Austroasiatic language family. The majority of the Khmer are followers of the Khmer style of Buddhism, a highly syncretic version that blends elements of Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, and veneration of the dead. Significant populations of Khmers reside in adjacent areas of Thailand (Northern Khmer) and the Mekong Delta region of neighboring Vietnam (Khmer Krom), while there are over one million Khmers in the Cambodian diaspora living mainly in France, the United States, and Australia. Total population: about 17 million

Moldovans (in Moldovan/Romanian moldoveni pronounced [moldoˈvenʲ]; Moldovan Cyrillic: Молдовень) is a people in South-Eastern Europe, the main population of Moldova. NUMBER: 3.35 million people LOCATION at present, Moldovans constitute the majority of the population (2.7 million people – 76.1%) of Moldova and a significant proportion of the population of Transnistria. They also live in Ukraine (258.6 thousand people) Dispersed in Russia (172.3 thousand people), Italy (68,591 thousand people), Romania and other countries. ORIGIN: There are two distinguished stages in the ethnogenesis of Moldavians: the formation of an ethnic community of Vlachs – the common ancestors of all East-Romance peoples – and the formation of the Moldovan nationality. Vlachs formed in the area, covering the north of the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathian Mountains, on the basis of a group of Thracian tribes that had undergone romanization in the first centuries AD, and then from the VI century established contacts with the settled Slavs in this region. As a nationality Moldovans were formed in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries within the medieval Moldavian principality, which covered the territories of modern independent Moldova and Romanian Moldova. After 1859 the Moldavians of the western part of the Moldavian principality became part of the Romanian nation. LANGUAGE: they speak Moldovan of Romance language group. In modern Moldavia the literary language does not differ from the Romanian, however in the vocabulary and phonetics of the spoken Moldovan language, especially some of its dialects, there are differences at the level of the local dialect. Moldovans living in Transnistria (32% of the republic’s population) use Moldovan language based on Cyrillic. Among Moldovans, Russian and, to a lesser extent, Ukrainian languages are also common. RELIGION: The majority of Moldovan believers are Orthodox.

The Nivkh are an indigenous ethnic group inhabiting the northern half of Sakhalin Island and the lower Amur River and coast on the adjacent Russian mainland and historically parts of Manchuria. They are the most ancient indigenous people of the Sakhalin Island (Russia). According to some archaeologists, the ancestors of the Nivkh appeared in the Amur River basin 20 thousand years ago. The national language is Nivkh, but most modern Nivkh speak Russian. The religious beliefs of the Nivkh were based on animism, a faith in spirits living everywhere – in heaven, on earth, in water, in taiga. Each bear was considered the son of the owner of the taiga, so the hunt for it was accompanied by rituals of a cult cult. Total population: about 4500

The Kyrgyz, also spelled Kyrghyz and Kirghiz, are a Turkic people living primarily in Kyrgyz Republic. The Kyrgyz live also in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and China. They form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China. There are more than 145,000 Kyrgyz in China. Kyrgyz are predominantly Muslims of the Hanafi Sunni school. Total population : 6 millions.

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. The Ossetians mostly populate Ossetia, which is politically divided between North Ossetia–Alania in Russia, and South Ossetia, which since the 2008 South Ossetia war has been de facto independent from Georgia. Total population: 720 000.

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. The Ossetians mostly populate Ossetia, which is politically divided between North Ossetia–Alania in Russia, and South Ossetia, which since the 2008 South Ossetia war has been de facto independent from Georgia. Total population: 720 000.

The Reunioneses are the people, the population of the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean (“overseas department” of France). The total number of 250 thousand people. This is mosty a mixed population, which is more than 40% of the population. They speak creolized French. Believers – mostly Catholics. The population was formed as a result of the French colonization of previously uninhabited island (the second half of the XVIII century) and the importation for work on plantations slaves from East Africa and Madagascar, and then from West Africa and from the Malabar coast of India, and after the abolition of slavery in the French colonies (1848), indentured workers, not only in Africa, but also from India, China, Yemen, Indonesia (island of Java), etc.

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.

The Tigrinya are an ethnic group living in Ethiopia and Eritrea in the northern highlands of Abyssinia. In Ethiopia today they are called “Tigray”, in Eritrea they are called “Tigrinya”.They mainly inhabit the highlands of Eritrea and the Tigray Region of northern Ethiopia, with diaspora communities in many countries. In Eritrea they comprise about 55% of the population, i.e. above three million people (and additionally half a million in the diaspora), and in Ethiopia there are about 4.5 million Tigrayans, according to the 2007 census, most of them in the Tigray Region. Over 90% of Tigray/Tigrinya are Christians. The great majority are Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and Eritrean Orthodox Christian. Total population: 8 million

 

Tunisian people, or #Tunisians (Arabic: تونسيون‎ Tūnisiyyūn, Tunisian Arabic: توانسة‎ Twensa), are a #Maghrebi ethnic group and nation native to #Northern #Africa, who speak Tunisian (#Derja) as their mother-tongue in addition to mastering French and/or Arabic, and who share a common Tunisian culture and identity. In addition, a Tunisian diaspora has been established with modern migration, particularly in Western Europe, namely France, Italy and Germany. Today, the ethnic identity of Tunisians is the product of a centuries-long historical trajectory, with the Tunisian nation today being a junction of the Amazigh and Punic substratum, as well as Roman, Arab, Andalusian, Turkish, and French cultural and linguistic input. Tunisians are predominantly genetically descended from #Berber groups, with some Phoenician/Punic and other Middle eastern input. In sum, a little less than 20 percent of their overall genetic material (Y-chromosome analysis) comes from the present day Levant, Arabia, Europe or sub-Saharan Africa. Almost all the population of Tunis are Sunnit Muslims. Total population : about 14 million

Tunisian people, or #Tunisians (Arabic: تونسيون‎ Tūnisiyyūn, Tunisian Arabic: توانسة‎ Twensa), are a #Maghrebi ethnic group and nation native to #Northern #Africa, who speak Tunisian (#Derja) and share a common Tunisian culture and identity. In addition, a Tunisian diaspora has been established with modern migration, particularly in Western Europe, namely France, Italy and Germany. Today, the ethnic identity of Tunisians is the product of a centuries-long historical trajectory, with the Tunisian nation today being a junction of the Amazigh and Punic substratum, as well as Roman, Arab, Andalusian, Turkish, and French cultural and linguistic input. Tunisians are predominantly genetically descended from #Berber groups, with some Phoenician/Punic and other Middle eastern input. In sum, a little less than 20 percent of their overall genetic material (Y-chromosome analysis) comes from the present day Levant, Arabia, Europe or sub-Saharan Africa. Almost all the population of Tunis are Sunnit Muslims. Total population : about 14 million

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

Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is by total population the sixth-largest nation in Europe. Ukrainians live also in Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus and other countries of the former Soviet Union. There is also a large diaspora in the United States, Canada and other countries. The word “Ukrainians” also means, more broadly, the citizens of Ukraine. The Ukrainian language is the Slavic group of the Indo-European family. Ukrainians are predominantly Orthodox Christians. In Western Ukraine there are also Catholics. Among the Slavic peoples, the Ukrainian people is the third largest after the Russians and the Poles. Ukrainians also include Polissian ethnographic groups (Polishchuk) and a number of Western ethnographic groups (Boyko, Hutsul, Lemkos). Total population: 46 millions