How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

Categories: Asia | Nations

Photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkhami lived in Nepal, studied Tibet and the Himalayas for more than a decade, and then went to Mongolia to explore the life of an endangered tribe of nomadic reindeer herders who still believe in spirits and shamans.

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

The author of the photographs studied Tibetan and Mongolian languages, and also received a doctorate in Sanskrit and Tibetology from Harvard.

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

Dukha is a Turkic people whose whole life is connected with deer: animals give milk and cheese to the tribe, and Mongols hunt moose and wild boars with them.

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

The tribe is rapidly disappearing: there are only 44 families left, that is, from 200 to 400 people.

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

In addition to a series of photographs, Sardar-Afkhami shot the film "Reindeer Herders", where he showed the seasonal migration of Mongols in the vicinity of Lake Khubsugul. The film crew, along with hundreds of reindeer herders, moves through the sacred forest for them.

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

The oldest dukha is 96-year-old shaman Tsuyan. According to the beliefs of the tribe, she acts as a link between them, their deer and the forest spirits of their ancestors, who communicate with the living through songs.

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

Reindeer herders believe: to live in harmony with spirits, people need to respect nature and animals and pass these beliefs from generation to generation.

How the endangered tribe of reindeer herders from Mongolia lives

The film won the "Best Film about Mountain Culture" award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

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