Through his photos of the nomadic Dukha people in northern Mongolia, photographer and scholar Hamid Sardar-Afkhami gives us an unprecedented look into the everyday lives of a people that rely on herds of migrating reindeer for their day-to-day existence.
The Dukha people domesticate reindeer, riding them, breeding them and using them for milk, cheese and fur. Unfortunately, their way of life is dying out as both their populations and the sizes of the reindeer herds diminish. Estimates of the Dukha population range between 200 and 400 individuals. Today, their primary source of income is the tourists that come to buy their crafts and ride their reindeer.
With a Ph. D. in Sanskrit and Tibetan Studies from Harvard, Sardar-Afkhami was the perfect person to document the Dukha way of life before it disappears. In addition to these photos, he also created a documentary film about the Dukha called The Reindeer People.
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