Terry Orwell for Art-Sheep
All images courtesy of Hamid Sardar-Afkhami.
Film maker and photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkhami traveled to northern Mongolia to photograph the everyday lives of the nomadic people Dukha. The Dukha people rely exclusively on herds of migrating reindeer for their daily survival and Sardar-Afkhami has produced an exceptional body of work.
Not only do these nomadic people domesticate reindeer, they also use them for milk and cheese, they use their fur to make clothes and beddings, they ride them and, of course, breed them. Sadly, the Dukha’s way of life is under threat given the fact that both their populations as well as the sizes of reindeer herds are becoming gradually less. Their population is estimated between 200 and 400 persons and nowadays their main source of income is the tourists who visit the Dukha lands to buy their crafts and ride their reindeer.
Hamid Sardar-Afkhami has a PhD in Sanskrit and Tibetan Studies from Harvard University and this is precisely what makes him the most suitable person to record the Dukha people and their everyday life before they become extinct. Sardar-Afkhami has also created a documentary film regarding the Dukha people which he called “The Reindeer People”.