Altai tavan bogd mountain range is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Not only because of its natural wonders, but also because of the people I met there. The eagle hunters were some of the most interesting people I have ever met.
The Eagle hunters are a fascinating people with a rich culture and history. They have lived in central Asia for centuries, and their tradition of hunting with eagles is one of the most unique in the world.
In the world, the Bayan-Olgii province has the most active Mongolian eagle hunters. For thousands of years, nomadic Kazakh people in this area have maintained their ancient culture. The “nomadic lifestyle” is a big factor for them to preserve their culture.
The Kazakh practice of hunting with birds of prey is an ancient one. Cave paintings depict falconry practices dating back to the Bronze Age, Genghis Khan was said to be a fan, and Marco Polo described eagle hunting with Khan’s grandson in the 1100s.
Most of Mongolia’s current Kazakh population, including the eagle hunter, fled from Kazakhstan to avoid a communist regime. The Kazakh eagle hunter has elevated the sport’s significance in Mongolia, bringing with them millennia of history.
Today, the Kazakh people of Mongolia live in Bayan Ulgii near the Altai tavan bogd mountain, where their community continues to practice eagle hunting as well as other cultural traditions. There are now more than 200 Mongolian eagle hunters in the Bayan-Olgii Province.
They migrate four times a year. Their way of life is both amazing and challenging. They begin caring for their animals early in the morning and continue till late at night. The quest for the sacred eagle feathers runs through their blood. Eagle hunting is in their genes. From his father, Kazakh eagle hunters learn how to train eagles, which is then handed down from one generation to the next.
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