On the Mongolian mountains with majestic cliffs, a 13 years old girl with tough body waving her arm to push an eagle to soar high in the sky. She is a female hunter with eagles, beginning a hunt imbued wild nature of a prairie area.
Ashol Pan, 13 years old, is one of the youngest female hunters with eagles in Mongolia, who has proficient skills of training and hunting with eagles without using a spotting scope. She is the daughter of a veteran hunter, seems to be the only female hunter in this country. Her brother went enlistment, so she is trained by the father Han Gohadok to inherit the traditional hunting of nomadic tribes, which was handed down from the time of Genghis Khan.
In the past, hunting is the duty of men. But at the present time, young women of the tribe are taught to substitute the role. However, Mr. Han shared that he never thought about letting his daughter work as a hunter for the remaining lifetime. He does not want her to become a professional hunter, so in addition to the hunt, she goes to school with her peers.
Hunting with eagles is a long tradition of Kazakh people living in the surrounding mountains in the cold snow area. Living on the harsh Altai Mountains of Mongolia, a cold and barren land with wolves wandering along the hillside, the Kazakhs have a secret hunting weapon, eagles. For over 200 years, the Kazakhs were hunting on horseback with the eagles that were trained from their early days. In the mountains and meadows, there are many animals, including rabbits, foxes and even wolves, they hunt them for their fur to make clothing and traditional costumes of this ethnic group.
A hunt can last for several days. They rode through the mountains of snow to detect preys.Kazakh people often hunt in groups. After the discovery of prey, the hunters drop out the eagle. An eagle reaching speeds of up to 250 km/h with sharp claws can kill small preys such as foxes, rabbits or capture for wolves. Strong claws and sharp beaks are weapons of eagles.
The Kazakh do not captive eagles but bring them home to train since their birth. The hunters usually choose a female eagle to accompany during the trips because of its large size. An adult eagle can weigh up to 7 kg and has more than 230 cm wingspan. After years of sticking, hunters would release the eagle to the nature habitat and parting gifts are large pieces of lamb.
As an outsider of the tribe, loving nomadic culture, the photographerSvidensky Asher decided to roam on horseback across the steppe roads to learn about the very unique hunting technique of the Mongolians. He captured beautiful and meaningful photo series about the lives of 13 years old female teenagers hunters in Mongolia. Svidensky told, “Seeing that she goes hunting with eagles is amazing. She looks very generous, strong and not bound at all.”
Apart from the girl Ashol Pan, the photographer Svidensky met another young hunter namedBahakBirgen, 14 years old, who was trained since the age of 8. Birgen was dubbed the “youngest eagle hunters in Mongolia”, because teenagers normally begin to be handed down when they are 13 years old. Only at that age are the hunters strong enough for an adult eagle to land on. Mr. Svidenskysaid: “I spent a lot of enthusiasm to rebuild an old portrait of the eagle images in the tradition of Mongolian nomads.” Previously, Svidensky worked as a photographer serving the Israeli army for three years, then moved on to be a tour guide.