thirteen year old ashol pan is part of a nascent movement of girls who are keeping alive the six thousand year old kazakh tradition of golden eagle hunting known as berkutchy.
though long the monopoly of boys — once deemed uniquely strong enough to carry a full grown eagle on their arms and endure harsh winter hunts — fewer are now learning the skill, abandoning their traditional semi nomadic ways for life in the cities.
berkutchy is a life long profession, and is often a hereditary one. but ashol’s brother left for the military, leaving her father, an experienced eagle hunter, to ask if she would take his place and assume training.
asher svidensky — who took these photos during a four month trek in the mountains of western mongolia’s bayan ulgii (or “rich cradle”) province, where only 250 hunters remain — told the bbc that where most boys are at first apprehensive around their eagles, ashol was very much at ease.
ashol, though still in school, will spend much of her time nurturing her eagle, imprinting herself on the fiercely independent bird from birth. after much time and training, her eagle — who is considered a member of the family — will learn to track down rabbits, foxes and wolves, whose fur is needed for the harsh winters.
apparently the key to happiness is to have a long and shitty winter
and if you can’t have that, surround yourself with deadly wildlife
or maybe these countries have free or reasonably priced health care, good education and costs nothing or very little, marriage equality(not all do however on the list but they at least aren’t extremely homophobic either), decent minimum wages, stable economies, low crime rates and so forth and also deadly wildlife because we protect our environment
The Ancient Art of Honey Hunting in Nepal
The Gurange tribes of Nepal have been collecting honey from Himalayan cliffs for centuries. The Gurung are master honey hunters, risking their lives collecting honeycomb using nothing more than handmade rope ladders and long sticks known as tangos.
Most of the honey bees’ nests are located on steep, inaccessible, southwest facing cliffs to avoid predators and for increased exposure to direct sunlight.
Aside from the dangers of falling, they are harvesting honey from the largest honey bees in the world. The Himalayan honey bee can grow up to 3 cm in length.
Before a hunt can commence, the honey hunters are required to perform a ceremony to placate the cliff gods. This involves sacrificing a sheep, offering flowers, fruits and rice, and praying to the cliff gods to ensure a safe hunt.
Photographer Andrew Newey spent two weeks living with the Gurung in central Nepal, documenting the risks and skill involved in this dying tradition.
Built for over a million people, the city of Ordos was designed to be the crowning glory of Inner Mongolia.
Doomed to incompletion however, this futuristic metropolis now rises empty out of the deserts of northern China. Only 2% of its buildings were ever filled; the rest has largely been left to decay, abandoned mid-construction, earning Ordos the title of China’s Ghost City.
Last year I travelled to Inner Mongolia for myself, to get a closer look at the bizarre, ghost metropolis of Ordos… and the experience, as I would discover, was far stranger than anything I could have prepared for.
THE GHOST TOWN OF INNER MONGOLIA
China’s property market is in a strange place. With a population reckoned at 1,351,000,000 and rising fast, the resultant boom in property development has led to scores of new-made millionaires and a rapidly growing elite class; at the same time however, analysts fear that this property bubble is set to burst.
The country itself owes coming on for a trillion dollars in debt. Meanwhile, a billion people are waking up to the possibilities of fast cars, smartphones, broadband Internet and credit cards.