Photographer Visits Lost Mongolian Tribe, Captures Breathtaking Images of Their Lifestyle and Culture

The journey of human civilization spans vast distances from our early beginnings. Emerging from caves and untamed landscapes, humanity has erected cities and dwellings that our ancestors could scarcely envision.

The extensive spread of globalization poses challenges to the preservation of ancient cultures. Yet, it is precisely this circumstance that renders the Dukha people of Mongolia so captivating and extraordinary. This nomadic tribe has inhabited the same region for centuries, fostering a unique bond with the wild animals. Their remarkable relationship is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Thankfully, photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkhami recently journeyed to this remote tribe, capturing his observations through a breathtaking series of photographs.

Through their distinct culture, the Dukha people have forged a special bond with the neighboring reindeer. They employ them as a mode of transportation across the rugged terrain of their homeland.

The reindeer are docile and gentle companions, even to the smallest of Dukha children.

This young girl prepares to clean and bathe a reindeer baby.

The Dukha are also known as the “Tsaatan,” a term that means “reindeer herder.”

These days, there are only roughly 44 Dukha families left. This totals 200-400 people. The reindeer population is diminishing as well.

The Dukha primarily survive off of the tourist industry. People visit and pay money for performances, crafts, and of course, reindeer rides.

They don’t just train reindeer. They also train wolves!

The Dukha hunt small woodland animals like rabbits. This earns them about two US dollars.

The Dukha also train golden eagles to aid in their hunting.

Eagle hunting is considered a privilege. Those who are able to do it are well respected by the tribe.

The Dukha believe they have a spiritual connection with all animals.

The connection allows them to feel at home in nature and to maintain their culture despite the growing influence of the outside world.

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