Amazon natives hold on to tradition

Story highlights

  • Photographer Trupal Pandya took portraits of the Huaorani people in Ecuador's rainforest
  • The community is beginning to modernize, but it still maintains its traditional ways of living

(CNN)Deep within the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador live the Huaorani.

Photographer Trupal Pandya traveled about 30 hours by air, water and land to reach this native community and take their portraits.
    The Huaorani, which means "the people" or "human beings," are believed to have inhabited the rainforest for thousands of years. Until about the 1960s, they never had any contact with the outside world.
    Pandya said there is a contrast between the modernization of the younger generation, who travel to areas outside of their community, and the older generation, who make efforts to maintain their traditional ways of living.
    Diverse changes have taken place within the community: the introduction of radios within many Huaorani homes, the consumption of food from cities and the adoption of Westernized clothing. For Pandya, these changes were a significant factor in his decision to photograph the Huaorani.