Displaced: Mongolia's Last Kazakh Nomads - Western Mongolia. 2012-13.
Displaced: Mongolia's Last Kazakh Nomads - Western Mongolia. 2012-13.

Eagle Hunters (or ‘Berkutchi’ as they are colloquially known) are well respected and take pride in their appearance. Eagle Hunting season is between the months of November and March, with festivals and marches taking place throughout in order to showcase and celebrate this age-old tradition. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

 Due to harsh climates (that regularly reach -40°C in winter months) the Kazakh diet is made up almost entirely of meats and fat. Once a year there is a mass slaughter to collect enough meat to see them through these harsh months. Meat is then salted and left to dry, where it is then edible for months. Mutton and Horse are the main sources of protein. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.  Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Due to harsh climates (that regularly reach -40°C in winter months) the Kazakh diet is made up almost entirely of meats and fat. Once a year there is a mass slaughter to collect enough meat to see them through these harsh months. Meat is then salted and left to dry, where it is then edible for months. Mutton and Horse are the main sources of protein. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  The nomadic Mongolian Kazakh's main source of income and survival are their livestock - consisting usually of sheep, goats, horses, camels and cattle. All of these animals are used for meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

The nomadic Mongolian Kazakh's main source of income and survival are their livestock - consisting usually of sheep, goats, horses, camels and cattle. All of these animals are used for meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Kazakh Herdsman.   Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Each morning at sunrise, Kazakh herdsmen will accompany their livestock to take them out to pasture and protect them from mountain wolves. If unprotected, mountain wolves can decimate entire herds and can cause irreparable damage to the livelihood of the corresponding Kazakh family - who are entirely dependent on their herd for survival. As such, Kazakh herdsmen are notorious marksmen and usually carry guns with them - almost all of which are Soviet era. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Each morning at sunrise, Kazakh herdsmen will accompany their livestock to take them out to pasture and protect them from mountain wolves. If unprotected, mountain wolves can decimate entire herds and can cause irreparable damage to the livelihood of the corresponding Kazakh family - who are entirely dependent on their herd for survival. As such, Kazakh herdsmen are notorious marksmen and usually carry guns with them - almost all of which are Soviet era. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Although traditions and practices are very important and respected by the Kazakh people of Mongolia, they are increasingly diluted by outside influences. The traditional headscarf pictured here is now only seen on the most elderly of Kazakh women. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Although traditions and practices are very important and respected by the Kazakh people of Mongolia, they are increasingly diluted by outside influences. The traditional headscarf pictured here is now only seen on the most elderly of Kazakh women. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Eagle Hunting techniques and skills are passed down by generation, with many Eagle Hunters still hunting late into their 80s. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Eagle Hunting techniques and skills are passed down by generation, with many Eagle Hunters still hunting late into their 80s. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Once Winter is over, Eagles are kept in homes and are cared for whilst their coat changes and adapts for the rising temperatures. Eagles have a life span of around 15 years. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Once Winter is over, Eagles are kept in homes and are cared for whilst their coat changes and adapts for the rising temperatures. Eagles have a life span of around 15 years. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Kazakh families are large, and siblings are plentiful. In Kazakh tradition, it is the responsibility of the youngest son to house and care for their parents as soon as they have taken a wife. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.    

Kazakh families are large, and siblings are plentiful. In Kazakh tradition, it is the responsibility of the youngest son to house and care for their parents as soon as they have taken a wife. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

 

  Many Mongolian Kazakhs have begun to make pilgrimages to the motherland of the culture, and are, more often than not, overwhelmed and confused by the difference between the two regions. Although proud to be Kazakh, they are also immensely proud to be Mongolian. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Many Mongolian Kazakhs have begun to make pilgrimages to the motherland of the culture, and are, more often than not, overwhelmed and confused by the difference between the two regions. Although proud to be Kazakh, they are also immensely proud to be Mongolian. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Mongolian Kazakhs migrate to different homes up to 7 times a year. As the climate changes, areas of the harsh landscape become inhospitable for humans and livestock alike, so this nomadic migration is essential. In order to do so, families pack up the entirety of their belongings onto the backs of large trucks and on top of livestock. Nothing is left behind; everything in each home is taken. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Mongolian Kazakhs migrate to different homes up to 7 times a year. As the climate changes, areas of the harsh landscape become inhospitable for humans and livestock alike, so this nomadic migration is essential. In order to do so, families pack up the entirety of their belongings onto the backs of large trucks and on top of livestock. Nothing is left behind; everything in each home is taken. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Berkutchi often make their coats from marmots/foxes skins collected from successful hunts. The more extravagant the coat, the more respected the hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Berkutchi often make their coats from marmots/foxes skins collected from successful hunts. The more extravagant the coat, the more respected the hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Nomadic Kazakh children in traditional animal fur coats. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Nomadic Kazakh children in traditional animal fur coats. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Entirely nomadic, the Kazakhs of Mongolia spend winters in hand built houses heated by burning dried dung, and in wooden areas, wood. In summer months they migrate closer to the water in large tents known as Gers, similar, but slightly different to Mongolian Yurts. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Entirely nomadic, the Kazakhs of Mongolia spend winters in hand built houses heated by burning dried dung, and in wooden areas, wood. In summer months they migrate closer to the water in large tents known as Gers, similar, but slightly different to Mongolian Yurts. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Winters are harsh and unpredictable. Snow storms can arrive and blanket an entire landscape within minutes. If caught in the middle of one, wandering nomads can lose their way and perish. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Winters are harsh and unpredictable. Snow storms can arrive and blanket an entire landscape within minutes. If caught in the middle of one, wandering nomads can lose their way and perish. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Eagle Hunting remains not only a display of cultural tradition, but also a continued sport. Even at the age of 84, this Berkutchi continues to mount his horse; holding a 10kg Golden Eagle in one hand and the reins of his horse in the other, and rides up into the blisteringly cold mountains to hunt - being the oldest Eagle Hunter in the world to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Eagle Hunting remains not only a display of cultural tradition, but also a continued sport. Even at the age of 84, this Berkutchi continues to mount his horse; holding a 10kg Golden Eagle in one hand and the reins of his horse in the other, and rides up into the blisteringly cold mountains to hunt - being the oldest Eagle Hunter in the world to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Many of the Kazakhs most prized possessions consist of family photo albums with nomadic cabins and camps always being decorated with them. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Many of the Kazakhs most prized possessions consist of family photo albums with nomadic cabins and camps always being decorated with them. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  A Kazakh Herdsman in his winter cabin on the day of migration. The walls have been stripped of their coverings, stoves have been dismantled, carpets removed from the floor and family photographs stored away. As the process is repeated many times each year, the sheer speed at which entire family homes can be packed away is quite breathtaking. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

A Kazakh Herdsman in his winter cabin on the day of migration. The walls have been stripped of their coverings, stoves have been dismantled, carpets removed from the floor and family photographs stored away. As the process is repeated many times each year, the sheer speed at which entire family homes can be packed away is quite breathtaking. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Although Eagle Hunting is an honour, it can be a financial burden on many, and Eagles are often sold to younger Eagle Hunter enthusiasts. Many are sad to part with their Eagles, but are unfortunately forced to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Although Eagle Hunting is an honour, it can be a financial burden on many, and Eagles are often sold to younger Eagle Hunter enthusiasts. Many are sad to part with their Eagles, but are unfortunately forced to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Whilst all possessions are loaded onto the backs of large trucks when migrating between seasonal homes, livestock has to be walked across the harsh and often unforgiving terrain. Kazakh Herdsmen will travel by horseback over distances that often take up to a week to traverse. They rely on the hospitality of families living along the route, who will take them in, feed them and give them a bed for the night. This hospitality is universal across the region. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Whilst all possessions are loaded onto the backs of large trucks when migrating between seasonal homes, livestock has to be walked across the harsh and often unforgiving terrain. Kazakh Herdsmen will travel by horseback over distances that often take up to a week to traverse. They rely on the hospitality of families living along the route, who will take them in, feed them and give them a bed for the night. This hospitality is universal across the region. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Although Eagles are mainly caught through the aforementioned techniques, they are on occasion bought and sold by other Eagle Hunters. Aybalot is 17 years old, and purchased his eagle for the equivalent of £150. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012

Although Eagles are mainly caught through the aforementioned techniques, they are on occasion bought and sold by other Eagle Hunters. Aybalot is 17 years old, and purchased his eagle for the equivalent of £150. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012

  Kazakh Hersdman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Hersdman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  When not on a hunt, Eagles will always wear a handmade blinder. This is to prevent the bird from trying to attack small creatures such as mice or cats, and indeed even children. Once out for a hunt blinders are removed. When an Eagle has spotted its prey (more often than not from a great distance), they tense their talons against their master’s glove, who then in turn releases the bird into flight. As soon as the prey has been successfully taken down, an Eagle will stay with its kill until its master arrives to collect from the bird. If successful, Eagles are then rewarded with meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

When not on a hunt, Eagles will always wear a handmade blinder. This is to prevent the bird from trying to attack small creatures such as mice or cats, and indeed even children. Once out for a hunt blinders are removed. When an Eagle has spotted its prey (more often than not from a great distance), they tense their talons against their master’s glove, who then in turn releases the bird into flight. As soon as the prey has been successfully taken down, an Eagle will stay with its kill until its master arrives to collect from the bird. If successful, Eagles are then rewarded with meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Many Mongolian Kazakh men are former members of the Mongolian Armed Forces and it is common to see amateur tattoos inked over their hands. A common tattoo is the year of enlistment across the fingers, such as the year 1975 on this man. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Many Mongolian Kazakh men are former members of the Mongolian Armed Forces and it is common to see amateur tattoos inked over their hands. A common tattoo is the year of enlistment across the fingers, such as the year 1975 on this man. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Because temperatures often reach below -40  ºC  , conditions can become unbearable for livestock with many dying due to the extreme climate. In 2010, a colder than average winter ravaged livestock across the county, killing millions of animals. This led to a huge humanitarian crisis across the region, with families having no assets or food left. Local residents call it a "dzud" - a severe winter following a very dry summer, which leaves reserves of fodder low. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Because temperatures often reach below -40ºC, conditions can become unbearable for livestock with many dying due to the extreme climate. In 2010, a colder than average winter ravaged livestock across the county, killing millions of animals. This led to a huge humanitarian crisis across the region, with families having no assets or food left. Local residents call it a "dzud" - a severe winter following a very dry summer, which leaves reserves of fodder low. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  When the Soviet ban on freedom of religion was lifted, Kazakhs shifted back to their original practice of Sunni Islam. Although many claim to be Muslim, the religion is often loosely practiced - vodka is as commonly drunk in Kazakh Mongolia, as it is throughout the rest of country. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

When the Soviet ban on freedom of religion was lifted, Kazakhs shifted back to their original practice of Sunni Islam. Although many claim to be Muslim, the religion is often loosely practiced - vodka is as commonly drunk in Kazakh Mongolia, as it is throughout the rest of country. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  Kazakh Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Kazakh Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

  As the influence of Western culture and globalisation increases its hold on far flung lands such as Bayan-Ölgii, with so-called ‘adventure tourism’ also becoming more and more popular, it is difficult to say what the region will be like in 10 years time. The Mongolian Kazakhs however, remain confident that their cultural nomadic traditions will not be diluted and weakened to the extent they have in Kazakhstan, and that their way of life will live on as it has done throughout history. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

As the influence of Western culture and globalisation increases its hold on far flung lands such as Bayan-Ölgii, with so-called ‘adventure tourism’ also becoming more and more popular, it is difficult to say what the region will be like in 10 years time. The Mongolian Kazakhs however, remain confident that their cultural nomadic traditions will not be diluted and weakened to the extent they have in Kazakhstan, and that their way of life will live on as it has done throughout history. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

  Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Displaced: Mongolia's Last Kazakh Nomads - Western Mongolia. 2012-13.
 Due to harsh climates (that regularly reach -40°C in winter months) the Kazakh diet is made up almost entirely of meats and fat. Once a year there is a mass slaughter to collect enough meat to see them through these harsh months. Meat is then salted and left to dry, where it is then edible for months. Mutton and Horse are the main sources of protein. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.  Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  The nomadic Mongolian Kazakh's main source of income and survival are their livestock - consisting usually of sheep, goats, horses, camels and cattle. All of these animals are used for meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Kazakh Herdsman.   Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Each morning at sunrise, Kazakh herdsmen will accompany their livestock to take them out to pasture and protect them from mountain wolves. If unprotected, mountain wolves can decimate entire herds and can cause irreparable damage to the livelihood of the corresponding Kazakh family - who are entirely dependent on their herd for survival. As such, Kazakh herdsmen are notorious marksmen and usually carry guns with them - almost all of which are Soviet era. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Although traditions and practices are very important and respected by the Kazakh people of Mongolia, they are increasingly diluted by outside influences. The traditional headscarf pictured here is now only seen on the most elderly of Kazakh women. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Eagle Hunting techniques and skills are passed down by generation, with many Eagle Hunters still hunting late into their 80s. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Once Winter is over, Eagles are kept in homes and are cared for whilst their coat changes and adapts for the rising temperatures. Eagles have a life span of around 15 years. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Kazakh families are large, and siblings are plentiful. In Kazakh tradition, it is the responsibility of the youngest son to house and care for their parents as soon as they have taken a wife. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.    
  Many Mongolian Kazakhs have begun to make pilgrimages to the motherland of the culture, and are, more often than not, overwhelmed and confused by the difference between the two regions. Although proud to be Kazakh, they are also immensely proud to be Mongolian. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Mongolian Kazakhs migrate to different homes up to 7 times a year. As the climate changes, areas of the harsh landscape become inhospitable for humans and livestock alike, so this nomadic migration is essential. In order to do so, families pack up the entirety of their belongings onto the backs of large trucks and on top of livestock. Nothing is left behind; everything in each home is taken. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Berkutchi often make their coats from marmots/foxes skins collected from successful hunts. The more extravagant the coat, the more respected the hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Nomadic Kazakh children in traditional animal fur coats. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Entirely nomadic, the Kazakhs of Mongolia spend winters in hand built houses heated by burning dried dung, and in wooden areas, wood. In summer months they migrate closer to the water in large tents known as Gers, similar, but slightly different to Mongolian Yurts. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Winters are harsh and unpredictable. Snow storms can arrive and blanket an entire landscape within minutes. If caught in the middle of one, wandering nomads can lose their way and perish. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Eagle Hunting remains not only a display of cultural tradition, but also a continued sport. Even at the age of 84, this Berkutchi continues to mount his horse; holding a 10kg Golden Eagle in one hand and the reins of his horse in the other, and rides up into the blisteringly cold mountains to hunt - being the oldest Eagle Hunter in the world to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Many of the Kazakhs most prized possessions consist of family photo albums with nomadic cabins and camps always being decorated with them. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  A Kazakh Herdsman in his winter cabin on the day of migration. The walls have been stripped of their coverings, stoves have been dismantled, carpets removed from the floor and family photographs stored away. As the process is repeated many times each year, the sheer speed at which entire family homes can be packed away is quite breathtaking. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Although Eagle Hunting is an honour, it can be a financial burden on many, and Eagles are often sold to younger Eagle Hunter enthusiasts. Many are sad to part with their Eagles, but are unfortunately forced to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Whilst all possessions are loaded onto the backs of large trucks when migrating between seasonal homes, livestock has to be walked across the harsh and often unforgiving terrain. Kazakh Herdsmen will travel by horseback over distances that often take up to a week to traverse. They rely on the hospitality of families living along the route, who will take them in, feed them and give them a bed for the night. This hospitality is universal across the region. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Although Eagles are mainly caught through the aforementioned techniques, they are on occasion bought and sold by other Eagle Hunters. Aybalot is 17 years old, and purchased his eagle for the equivalent of £150. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012
  Kazakh Hersdman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  When not on a hunt, Eagles will always wear a handmade blinder. This is to prevent the bird from trying to attack small creatures such as mice or cats, and indeed even children. Once out for a hunt blinders are removed. When an Eagle has spotted its prey (more often than not from a great distance), they tense their talons against their master’s glove, who then in turn releases the bird into flight. As soon as the prey has been successfully taken down, an Eagle will stay with its kill until its master arrives to collect from the bird. If successful, Eagles are then rewarded with meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Many Mongolian Kazakh men are former members of the Mongolian Armed Forces and it is common to see amateur tattoos inked over their hands. A common tattoo is the year of enlistment across the fingers, such as the year 1975 on this man. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Because temperatures often reach below -40  ºC  , conditions can become unbearable for livestock with many dying due to the extreme climate. In 2010, a colder than average winter ravaged livestock across the county, killing millions of animals. This led to a huge humanitarian crisis across the region, with families having no assets or food left. Local residents call it a "dzud" - a severe winter following a very dry summer, which leaves reserves of fodder low. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  When the Soviet ban on freedom of religion was lifted, Kazakhs shifted back to their original practice of Sunni Islam. Although many claim to be Muslim, the religion is often loosely practiced - vodka is as commonly drunk in Kazakh Mongolia, as it is throughout the rest of country. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  Kazakh Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.
  As the influence of Western culture and globalisation increases its hold on far flung lands such as Bayan-Ölgii, with so-called ‘adventure tourism’ also becoming more and more popular, it is difficult to say what the region will be like in 10 years time. The Mongolian Kazakhs however, remain confident that their cultural nomadic traditions will not be diluted and weakened to the extent they have in Kazakhstan, and that their way of life will live on as it has done throughout history. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
  Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.
Displaced: Mongolia's Last Kazakh Nomads - Western Mongolia. 2012-13.

Eagle Hunters (or ‘Berkutchi’ as they are colloquially known) are well respected and take pride in their appearance. Eagle Hunting season is between the months of November and March, with festivals and marches taking place throughout in order to showcase and celebrate this age-old tradition. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Due to harsh climates (that regularly reach -40°C in winter months) the Kazakh diet is made up almost entirely of meats and fat. Once a year there is a mass slaughter to collect enough meat to see them through these harsh months. Meat is then salted and left to dry, where it is then edible for months. Mutton and Horse are the main sources of protein. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

The nomadic Mongolian Kazakh's main source of income and survival are their livestock - consisting usually of sheep, goats, horses, camels and cattle. All of these animals are used for meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Each morning at sunrise, Kazakh herdsmen will accompany their livestock to take them out to pasture and protect them from mountain wolves. If unprotected, mountain wolves can decimate entire herds and can cause irreparable damage to the livelihood of the corresponding Kazakh family - who are entirely dependent on their herd for survival. As such, Kazakh herdsmen are notorious marksmen and usually carry guns with them - almost all of which are Soviet era. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Although traditions and practices are very important and respected by the Kazakh people of Mongolia, they are increasingly diluted by outside influences. The traditional headscarf pictured here is now only seen on the most elderly of Kazakh women. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Eagle Hunting techniques and skills are passed down by generation, with many Eagle Hunters still hunting late into their 80s. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Once Winter is over, Eagles are kept in homes and are cared for whilst their coat changes and adapts for the rising temperatures. Eagles have a life span of around 15 years. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Kazakh families are large, and siblings are plentiful. In Kazakh tradition, it is the responsibility of the youngest son to house and care for their parents as soon as they have taken a wife. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

 

Many Mongolian Kazakhs have begun to make pilgrimages to the motherland of the culture, and are, more often than not, overwhelmed and confused by the difference between the two regions. Although proud to be Kazakh, they are also immensely proud to be Mongolian. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Mongolian Kazakhs migrate to different homes up to 7 times a year. As the climate changes, areas of the harsh landscape become inhospitable for humans and livestock alike, so this nomadic migration is essential. In order to do so, families pack up the entirety of their belongings onto the backs of large trucks and on top of livestock. Nothing is left behind; everything in each home is taken. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Eagles are mainly used by the Kazakhs to hunt marmots and rabbits, but the strongest of Eagles are known to be able to take down a wolf. There are varying ways in which to capture a wild Eagle, with snatching an Eaglet from its nest being the most popular method. However, catching an Eagle from the wild using a trap almost always guarantees a better hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Berkutchi often make their coats from marmots/foxes skins collected from successful hunts. The more extravagant the coat, the more respected the hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Nomadic Kazakh children in traditional animal fur coats. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Entirely nomadic, the Kazakhs of Mongolia spend winters in hand built houses heated by burning dried dung, and in wooden areas, wood. In summer months they migrate closer to the water in large tents known as Gers, similar, but slightly different to Mongolian Yurts. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Winters are harsh and unpredictable. Snow storms can arrive and blanket an entire landscape within minutes. If caught in the middle of one, wandering nomads can lose their way and perish. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Eagle Hunting remains not only a display of cultural tradition, but also a continued sport. Even at the age of 84, this Berkutchi continues to mount his horse; holding a 10kg Golden Eagle in one hand and the reins of his horse in the other, and rides up into the blisteringly cold mountains to hunt - being the oldest Eagle Hunter in the world to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Many of the Kazakhs most prized possessions consist of family photo albums with nomadic cabins and camps always being decorated with them. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Kazakh Herdsman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

A Kazakh Herdsman in his winter cabin on the day of migration. The walls have been stripped of their coverings, stoves have been dismantled, carpets removed from the floor and family photographs stored away. As the process is repeated many times each year, the sheer speed at which entire family homes can be packed away is quite breathtaking. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Although Eagle Hunting is an honour, it can be a financial burden on many, and Eagles are often sold to younger Eagle Hunter enthusiasts. Many are sad to part with their Eagles, but are unfortunately forced to do so. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Whilst all possessions are loaded onto the backs of large trucks when migrating between seasonal homes, livestock has to be walked across the harsh and often unforgiving terrain. Kazakh Herdsmen will travel by horseback over distances that often take up to a week to traverse. They rely on the hospitality of families living along the route, who will take them in, feed them and give them a bed for the night. This hospitality is universal across the region. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Although Eagles are mainly caught through the aforementioned techniques, they are on occasion bought and sold by other Eagle Hunters. Aybalot is 17 years old, and purchased his eagle for the equivalent of £150. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012

Kazakh Hersdman. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

When not on a hunt, Eagles will always wear a handmade blinder. This is to prevent the bird from trying to attack small creatures such as mice or cats, and indeed even children. Once out for a hunt blinders are removed. When an Eagle has spotted its prey (more often than not from a great distance), they tense their talons against their master’s glove, who then in turn releases the bird into flight. As soon as the prey has been successfully taken down, an Eagle will stay with its kill until its master arrives to collect from the bird. If successful, Eagles are then rewarded with meat. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Many Mongolian Kazakh men are former members of the Mongolian Armed Forces and it is common to see amateur tattoos inked over their hands. A common tattoo is the year of enlistment across the fingers, such as the year 1975 on this man. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Because temperatures often reach below -40ºC, conditions can become unbearable for livestock with many dying due to the extreme climate. In 2010, a colder than average winter ravaged livestock across the county, killing millions of animals. This led to a huge humanitarian crisis across the region, with families having no assets or food left. Local residents call it a "dzud" - a severe winter following a very dry summer, which leaves reserves of fodder low. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

When the Soviet ban on freedom of religion was lifted, Kazakhs shifted back to their original practice of Sunni Islam. Although many claim to be Muslim, the religion is often loosely practiced - vodka is as commonly drunk in Kazakh Mongolia, as it is throughout the rest of country. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

Kazakh Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2012.

As the influence of Western culture and globalisation increases its hold on far flung lands such as Bayan-Ölgii, with so-called ‘adventure tourism’ also becoming more and more popular, it is difficult to say what the region will be like in 10 years time. The Mongolian Kazakhs however, remain confident that their cultural nomadic traditions will not be diluted and weakened to the extent they have in Kazakhstan, and that their way of life will live on as it has done throughout history. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

Eagle Hunter. Bayan-Ölgii, Western Mongolia. 2013.

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