Ross Brooks

Mongolian Girls Carry On a Cherished 6,000-Year-Old Tradition With Golden Eagles

by , 04/12/14
filed under: Animals, gallery


golden eagle hunting festival in Mongolia, Ashol Pan eagle hunter, bonds between man and animal, ancient Kazakh proverbs, raising a golden eagle from birth, Fine horses and fierce eagles are the wings of the Kazakhs, Asher Svidensky photography, golden eagles trained by Mongolian women, raising golden eagles in Mongolia, eagle hunting tradition in Mongolia,

Svidensky was focused on the story of one particular girl, 13-year-old Ashol Pan, who was asked by her father to take the place of her brother after he left for the military. Pan took up the challenge, and even though she still attends school, developing a lifelong bond with her eagle has quickly become her sole focus in life. It’s no easy task – training a young golden eagle involves blindfolding the animal for prolonged periods of time so that it develops a dependence on its handler, and can often involve sacrificing sleep in order to care for the bird of prey.

Related: Mongolia’s Nomads Modernize Traditional Tent Homes with Solar Panels

Unlike many of the young boys, who seem uneasy alongside their hunting companion, according to Svidensky, Pan is at peace with the animal by her side. This is an essential part of the pair’s bond, especially as the village relies on the eagle to hunt down foxes, wolves and rabbits, all of which provide food and pelts to survive the harsh winter months.

Golden eagles are deeply engrained in Kazakh culture, and make an appearance in many ancient proverbs, such as, “Fine horses and fierce eagles are the wings of the Kazakhs.” It’s beautiful to witness the next generation ensuring the legacy of a hunter and their eagle lives on for all to see. Should you ever find yourself in Mongolia, an annual Golden Eagle Hunting Festival allows more than 50 eagle hunters to showcase their skills.

+ Asher Svidensky

Via Design Taxi

Images by Asher Svidensky

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4 Comments

  1. mmmm October 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    https://www.facebook.com/ottobell?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
    this is the film maker facebook.

  2. mmmm October 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    they are making movie in mongolia. they use this family under 1$ contract to film them for 1 year. But the family just wanted to help them and provide them with free hospitality n food… they are using them with no shame. the family doesn/t need their cheap contract which is lower price than hamburger… film maker westerns using them with no shame…

  3. Emily Yelton April 27, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Actually, they are both. Mongolia is the country they have roamed through. Kazakh is the tribal name. So to be specific Ashol Pan is likely a Mongolian Kazakh by birth. She could also be a Kazakh from Kazakhstan, however the story places her in Mongolia.

  4. Kanat Jakshybek April 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

    they are not mongolians, they are kazakhs

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