When photographer Asher Svidensky set off to Mongolia’s Ulgii capital, he originally meant to document the Kazakh’s tradition of eagle hunting and the seasoned eagle hunters of the region. But though he did everything he had outlined for himself, Svidensky felt something was missing. And so he focused his lenses on a new subject: to the future generation of eagle hunters – the children who were taking their first steps in learning the tricks of the trade.

According to tradition, a 13-year old boy is considered strong enough to carry the weight of a grown eagle. It was in the Chaulting area, north of Ulgii, where he photographed Irka Bolen, a 13 year old who was being trained by his father, a huge responsibility for someone barely a teenager.

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Traveling further south, Svidensky met more amazing characters: an 8 year old boy named Bahak Birgen who was deemed fit enough for training and known as the “Youngest Eagle Hunter in Mongolia”…

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… as well as Ashol Pan, a spunky girl being trained by her father to be an eagle huntress.

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Child and beast come together against the phenomenal backdrop of Mongolia’s wild and rugged landscape. Each shot is breathtakingly beautiful and almost otherworldly, a testament to Svidensky’s extraordinary talent for storytelling. Head over to Svidensky’s website to discover more of his works, and to treat yourself to some prints.

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