Inside the Rugged Lives of Mongolia’s Nomads


I love finding these kinds of short videos online because I feel like they give our readers a better sense of Mongolia’s heritage. Yes, there are still traditional Mongolian nomads of different ethnic backgrounds (the family featured here is Kazakh from western Mongolia), although I would argue more of Mongolia’s population is urban than rural at this point.

This short film highlights eagle hunting training, camel racing training, and other activities. The scenes inside the family ger also show traditional Kazakh embroidered wall hangings, and at 1:03, you can see a piece of cloth covered in different medals hanging from the wall. Medals are awarded for a number of reasons in Mongolia: for good work (a carry over from socialism), for the amount of children you have, for winning competitions. As the medals are blurry in the shot, there’s no way that I could even begin to attempt to tell you what these specific ones are for, but I would wager that this family is proud of these medals and the stories that they tell.


Beth sig

Eagle Hunting

Photo by Asher Svidensky (via Express)

Photo by Asher Svidensky (via Express)

I’ve featured a Mongolian eagle hunter on the blog before, but I came across a recent article that focuses on a girl who is learning the art.

Traditionally, Kazakh eagle hunting  is for men. Each family develops a certain style of hunting and passes that on from father to son.

In the case of Ashol Pan, her older brother was drafted into the military so her father is training her instead. For more details and pictures, check out the full article on Express, which showcases Asher Svidensky’s photography.

In unrelated news, we are continuing our preparations for traveling to Mongolia. This week, we have been focusing on getting in our final paperwork, which has included fingerprinting–fun, new experience!–and tax documents.