REINDEER HERDERS or TSAATAN TRIBE in TAIGA, NORTH MONGOLIA
Photos of Dukha or reindeer herders in Taiga, North Mongolia
Tulga, Nomadic Trails Tour Leader
From the soul of steppe nomads, Tulga grew up in the Gobi area where giant sand dunes, camels and the most hospitable people in the world live! Tulga likes to cheer up his “Wind Horse” (spiritual mind) by riding tough Mongolian horses through the open steppe rather than going to the monastery to pray. Tulga spends a lot of time in the Taiga area of the Siberian Mountains, where he loves to spend time with the reindeer herders learning more about their unique culture.
In his career he has summited Mount Khuiten (4374m), trekked across Potanin glacier, one of the biggest in Mongolia, and cross country dog sledded in –40°C. He is a first rate tour leader and we are proud to call him ‘our man in Mongolia’.
He has been visiting Taiga, North Mongolia for many years and here is his some of photographs;
Picture 1. Autumn Reindeer.
Reindeer needed good and safe pasture are to feed themselves so well for preparing harsh and snowy winter. Reindeer are about 1.20 – 2.20 meters long and about 0.90 – 1.40 meters high. They weigh between 60 – 300 kilograms. Usually live to be 12–15 years old, sometimes they can live to be 20 years old.
Picture 2. Family Tee-pee
There are 24-26 families with the population of 400 people living near Russia Mongolian border. The Border was closed in late 1950’s and those ones who were traveling back forth couldn’t travel to each side and a few people left in Mongolian side. Those people spread east and west bank of River Shishged, now being called East and West Taiga.
Picture 3. Little Reindeer herder
The average reindeer family has 3-4 children. Not the fastest growing tribes in Mongolia yet.
Picture 4. Proud little reindeer herder
Children in Taiga, start gaming in their early age by tracking animal foot prints and facing some of predators!
Picture 5. Riding reindeer
Reindeer is only means of transport in a the forest in winter.
Picture 6. Reindeer Selfie
Picture 7. Moving with reindeer.
Young men in a group of 3-4, take their reindeer from all families, searching for better and safer pasture land. It takes them 3-4 days to travel. Once they found their suitable pasture land, they settle for 2 weeks untill their replacement arrive. For young men, it is one the challanging activities to survive.
Picture 8. Reindeer in the morning
Reindeer finds food for themselves easily from under the snow.
Picture 9. On the move
Picture 10. Morning
In January, temperature drops -40C and both human and animals need to survive.
Picture 11. Travelling to Reindeer herders /Dukha people with reindeer
Visiting reindeer people in winter is still possible when you have proper equipment and right tour guide.
Hope you enjoyed with this post and see you in the next post.