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Mongolian Girl Becomes An Eagle Hunter [Pic]

eagle hunter

Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia lets go of her golden eagle. Photo by Asher Svidensky/Caters News Agency.

A photographer seeking to document the next generation of Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia discovered a 13-year-old girl who has taken to the male-dominated tradition.

Photographer Asher Svidensky made a four-month trek through western Mongolia, mostly on horseback, and found Han Gohadok and his daughter, Ashol Pan, who had expressed a desire to take up the full-time profession that is centuries old.

Good thing, too, since the ancient pastime is said to be a dying part of Mongolian culture, as young men are leaving their families and the hunting duties behind. As a result, more girls are becoming eagle hunters to replace their brothers, according to the Mail Online.

Gohadok told the Mail Online that his eldest son was to become the eagle hunter of the family but was drafted into the army. Thats when Ashol Pan stepped forward.

eagle hunter

Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia holds her golden eagle, giving perspective on the size of the bird. Photo by Asher Svidensky/Caters News Agency.

Eagle hunters use golden eagles to hunt foxes during the winter months when the gold-colored foxes stand out against the snow. They also hunt hares. Typically, the training of young men begins at age 13, when they are strong enough to carry a full-grown eagle on their arm.

The training is rigorous, as the master and its eagle develop a long-term and trusting relationship that is all consuming. The Kazakh custom is for the eagle hunter to ride a horse while hunting.

Svidensky was looking for something different when he set out to document eagle hunters in Mongolia.

I decided to focus myselfstop looking for a portrait of a centuries-old image of a Kazakh eagle hunter and instead represent the future of this ancient Mongolian tradition, Svidensky told the Mail Online.

Ashol Pan represents the future. She is one of an estimated 250 eagle hunters in western Mongolia.

In his photos, Svidensky depicts the evident joy Ashol Pan has in her new role, one her father never would have forced upon her unless she had asked. And she did.

eagle hunter

Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia is developing a trusting relationship with her golden eagle. Photo by Asher Svidensky/Caters News Agency.

eagle huter

Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia gets an eagle-pat on the head.

eagle hunter

Eagle hunter Ashol Pan stands on a moutain top, ready to release her bird.

Ashol Pan, 13, takes to centuries-old pastime that has been dominated by men.

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Date: 04/01/14 09:50 AM

9 Responses to Mongolian Girl Becomes An Eagle Hunter [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of ElectricEye
    ElectricEye Male 40-49
    2723 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 8:19 am
    Link: Mongolian Girl Becomes An Eagle Hunter - Ashol Pan, 13, takes to centuries-old pastime that has been dominated by men.
  2. Profile photo of Jake_Justus
    Jake_Justus Male 50-59
    7033 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Beautiful photos, but that second one is outstanding (the expressions on both the girl and eagle). Very interesting story and excellent post.
  3. Profile photo of Naz14
    Naz14 Female 18-29
    1498 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 10:09 am
    How cool :) Id definitely give it a try!
  4. Profile photo of Denogginizer
    Denogginizer Male 30-39
    821 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 10:46 am
    I bet she has a bicep like a rock. Eagles are heavy. Great post.
  5. Profile photo of Wendypants
    Wendypants Female 30-39
    2420 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 11:45 am
    Very cool :)
  6. Profile photo of syke22
    syke22 Male 18-29
    1136 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    I wonder how long those eagles live. I bet they are pretty close to their owners.
    Cool post
  7. Profile photo of Squrlz4Sale
    Squrlz4Sale Male 40-49
    6230 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm
    Even I liked this post. And I`m not real big on the whole birds of prey thing.
  8. Profile photo of Draculya
    Draculya Male 40-49
    14544 posts
    April 1, 2014 at 9:53 pm
    "I bet she has a bicep like a rock. Eagles are heavy. Great post."

    I had a mongolian GF. She was toned like an athlete or a racehorse. I am totally confident she could have run a 400m carrying me.
  9. Profile photo of PopCap
    PopCap Male 30-39
    730 posts
    April 3, 2014 at 5:32 am
    Khan-Air

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