If you’re looking to travel back in time to a mystical place where people are still very much one with nature, it’s time to meet the reindeer riders of Mongolia!
The nomads of Outer Mongolia still live a lifestyle which today would be considered outdated and mythical. However, they have managed to survive for thousands of years in very brutal climates and kept their traditions alive no matter the political borders, wars, civil wars and new technologies that their people faced.
“Neither disease not bitter old age is mixed… in their sacred blood; far from labor and battle…” is how the ancient Greek poet Pindar described this ancient culture and its people who still live in Outer Mongolia today.
Photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkhami is learning Tibetan languages in Mongolia and after living and exploring the Himalayas for more than a decade, he began to be acquainted with the reindeer riders of Mongolia, who are a nomadic tribe, moving from place to place depending on the season.
These people live, love and hunt in the Mongolian Taïga, a land populated by reindeer, wolves, bears, horses and eagles. They breed and raise reindeer in order to ride them and for carrying their belongings from place to place. They don’t kill reindeer for meat unless they have no choice or when the reindeer get old and become of no use anymore.
The reindeer riders of Mongolia use these animals in order to hunt, accompanied by eagles. Eagle hunting is a very old Mongolian tradition, kept alive till this day and it’s an art passed on from generation to generation.