The hunters must forge an intimate relationship with their birds. Eagles are captured as chicks from their nest in the wild. The training process, which takes three or four years has to be done by just one person in order to develop the necessary bond between master and eagle. Photograph by @tariqzaidiphoto #eaglehunter #Mongolia #goldeneagle #man #Kazakh
Western Mongolia is one of the least densely populated places on the planet. Surrounded by glacier-wrapped mountains, arid plains, barely any trees and temperatures which fall below -40C, life can be brutally hard for the nomadic families who make their homes and tend their cattle here.
It is also one of the few places where you will still find Kazakh eagle hunters. The ancient art of training a golden eagle to hunt for foxes, marmots and even wolves, may have been practiced for 4,000 years, but is still very much a part of daily life for the families who depend on it for their survival.
Hunting with eagles is not the only tradition the Kazakh nomads cling to in a rapidly changing Mongolia. With their own language, clothes and customs, this community live by a strong code of unwritten laws which structure an ancient, transient way of life in a stark but beautiful terrain. ©️Tariq Zaidi Photography. All Rights Reserved.
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