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November 6, 2015

24 Incredible Color Photos of Ethnic Exotic From Around the World in the Early 20th Century

In 1909, at the very dawn of color photography, the French banker Albert Kahn set out to visually document every culture of the global human family. With the fortune he had amassed selling securities from South African diamond mines and illegal war bonds to the Japanese, Kahn financed a team of photographers to spread across the world taking pictures. Over the next two decades, these artists and ethnographers produced over 70,000 photos across 50 countries, from Ireland to India and everywhere in-between.

Indian chief, Crow Indian Reservation, Montana, photographer Edwin Wisherd, 1927.

A guy in a cowboy outfit, California, 1920.

Leader Naxi people in Tibet, photographer Joseph Rock, about 1927.

Ethiopian veterans in traditional attire, photographer Robert Moore, 1930.

Dutch photographer Stephane Passet, 1910.

Vendian woman (ie Lusatian Serb) in traditional dress, Germany, Hans Gildenbrand, 1931.

Residents of Dahomey (now Benin), photographer Frederic Gadmer, 1920.

Kurdish women in Iran, photographer Frederic Gadmer, 1920.

Breton couple in traditional dress, France, photographer George Chevalier, 1920.

Breton group in traditional costumes, photographer Adrien, between 1907 and 1928.

Sisters Helene and Denise Lauth in Alsace, France, photographer George Chevalier, 1918.

Moroccans, shot from the collection of Albert Kahn, 1910.

Moroccan children, 1910.

The inhabitants of Ceylon, 1910.

Russian woman in traditional dress, Rimsky-Korsakov, between 1908 and 1917.

Two Bishari girls standing in front of their homes in Egypt, 1914.

Armenian women from a 1912 trip to Istanbul, Turkey.

Women from the Macedonian village of Smilevo, 1913.

Greek refugees in the Balkans, 1913.

A street in Ohrid, Macedonia, 1913.

Macedonian men photographed by Auguste Léon in 1913.

Moroccan farmers posing for one of Kahn’s photographers, ca. 1912-1913.

Women in traditional clothing in Corfu, Greece, 1913.

Two men in front of a Hindu temple in Lahore, Pakistan, 1914.


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