Step into the Lives of a ‘Lost’ Mongolian Tribe
Hamid Sardar-Afkhami is a documentary film maker and photographer with a Ph.D. from Harvard University in the field of Inner Asian languages and cultures. Inspired by the pioneers of exploration photography, Sardar-Afkhami devotes his cameras to telling the story of endangered cultures who maintain a spiritual dialogue with the natural world.
In one of these projects, Hamid set off to find the Dukha people of Mongolia, a nomadic tribe that has lived in the region for centuries. During this time, they have had to develop special relationships with the wild animals that share the region, the results are amazing!
Through a unique system of animal husbandry, the Dukha people have learned to use reindeer as a means of transportation over the treacherous terrain they call home. Dukhas live differently from most other people in the world in that the Dukha’s sense of community is structured around their reindeer – they are dependent on one another. Some Dukha say that if the reindeer disappear, so too will their culture. The reindeer are domesticated and belong to the household and in many ways, are treated like family members and shown respect. The community’s chores and activities are centered around the care and feeding of their reindeer.
Dukha today continue their nomadic life, moving from one place to another without establishing any permanent settlements during the year. Take a look at the stunning photographs od Hamid Sardar-Afkhami below and gain an insight into this Turkic people and the unique relationships they’ve established with nature.