The people of the Butan tribe have very deep blue eyes, which contrast perfectly with their dark skins. The reason? A strange genetic disorder that makes them practically unique in the world.
The truth is that Asians – at least as we know them in the West – share a number of physical and genetic traits that are fairly obvious, especially in terms of their eye color, which are usually brown or black.
However, this indigenous tribe of Indonesia totally escapes the traditional canon, all because of a strange syndrome.
The Buton tribe is located in the province of Southeastern Sulawesi, and all its members have deep blue eyes, even more so than any Nordic person.
In addition, the contrast between their eyes and their deep skin makes them stand out even more. This can be seen in the incredible images taken by photographer Korchnoi Pasaribu, which are a series of portraits where these sky-colored eyes are seen at their best.
In the photos you can see mainly children, who look at Pasaribu’s camera with a degree of fear and resentment. Some of them only have one blue eye, while their other eye is dark, but the predominance is for both eyes to be light blue.
According to the Pacific Press Agency, the cause of this unique eye color in Bhutan is a genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome, which occurs in only one out of 42,000 births, and can lead to facial abnormalities, vision problems and deafness, among other issues.
In addition, the syndrome is autosomal dominant, which means that whoever has this gene will manifest it and will also transmit it to their possible offspring, with a 50% probability for each pregnancy. The Bhutanese are therefore unique: there are hardly any other people with this condition on the Island of Sulawesi.