Kazakh people are one of the biggest tribe in Mongolia who lives in very far western Mongolia – Bayan-Olgii province. During a hard time back in 1900s, a few Kazakh family from Turkmen asked to live in Mongolia and Mongolians let them to live in Mongolian territory and tell where they live and herd their livestock – it was Bayan-olgii province - one of the last true wilderness areas of Asia, the stunning beauty of the magnificent Altai Mountains will be the backdrop for this extraordinary Eagle Festival, today.
Approximately ninety percent of the population of Bayan-Olgii is Kazakh and though their pastoral-nomadic lifestyle is similar to that of Mongolians,' these Kazakh-speaking nomads are predominantly Moslem. Now, Kazakh tribes who live in Mongolia are the only last tribe that could keep their tradition how to tame the Eagle for hunting as just as their ancestors had being done for thousands of years.
Kazakh women are renowned for their skills in embroidery and appliqué-hand-crafted felt carpets line the floor of their gers and delicately embroidered tapestries adorn the walls in a dazzling mosaic of colors.
However, 13 years old girl Ashol Pan who is the only child of Han Gohadok – experienced Eagle hunter is being trained to become her father’s the next generation of Eagle hunter. Because of his oldest son went to an army and became an officer, she left as next Eagler. Han Gohadok told to photographer Asher Svidenski “Next year you will come to the eagle festival and see her riding with the eagle in my place.”
There is no English word for the hunting with eagles such as 'eagler'. Today professional Kazakh hunters in Mongolia call the hunting with eagle berkutchy. A berkutchy is a life's profession, and in Mongolia is often a hereditary one.