While the definition of lost is technically defined as, “not knowing one’s whereabouts”, sometimes the word can be fitting in other situations as well. For example, this tribe was not lost, but more so unknown. They were recently rediscovered, and with that discovery, we found out a lot of knowledge about them, and all of the amazing things they do. Photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkhami recently visited this lost Mongolian tribe and documented what he saw through a series of breathtaking photographs. They are some of the most beautiful pictures I have seen in a very long time. They highlight and document the daily lives of this lost Mongolian tribe.
The Dukha people are part of a Tuvan-Turkic tribe.
They live in a desolate area on the border of Mongolia and Russia.
They are known as reindeer herders.
They are so much more than that.
There are only a few hundred people within 44 families left in this tribe. Their reindeer population is diminishing as well.
Children in the tribe are exposed to the beautiful reindeer from birth. The reindeer are docile and gentle companions, even to the smallest of Dukha children.
This reindeer baby is getting ready to get bathed in a remote lake.
The Dukha do not typically eat the reindeer unless the animals are no longer capable of helping them hunt or travel.
The Dukha hunt for their income or sustenance.
Otherwise, many of the Dukha people make their living off of tourists who either want to ride domesticated reindeer or buy their crafts.
They don’t just train reindeer. They also train wolves!
They are very in tune with the world around them and proud of their way of life.
The Dukha 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.
As you can see they have a very deep connection with all animals.
The Dukha have been doing what they are doing for hundreds of years under the Chinese, Russian, and Mongolian states.
So let me get this straight. The Dukha train reindeer, wolves, and eagles!? That is very amazing! They are a deeply spiritual, beautiful people. Widespread globalization has made it hard for historic cultures like this one to be preserved. Yet they have managed to remain almost untouched by the 21st century. This is just part of what makes the Dukha people of Mongolia so fascinating.