duhalar reindeer herders

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anthrocology:

Duhalar reindeer herders by Hamid Sardar-Afkhami

The Duhalar reindeer people live in Hovsgol — the land of the blue lake — a territory of about 65,000 sq. km in Northwestern Mongolia bordering the tiny Russian Republic of Tuva. The Duhalar are the guardians of this hidden realm, patrolling a maze of evergreen forests and snow-capped mountains on the backs of their stocky reindeer. They gain a meager existence by hunting for furs and antlers, which they sell in a nearby Mongol town.

The Duhalar depend on a healthy domestic reindeer population not just for their milk and as a means of transport but also for their spirituality – to move through a forest haunted by the spirits of their ancestors who counsel the living through the shaman’s songs. If the reindeer vanish, the songlines of the ancestors will also cease to exist. …