TIFA 2021 Editorial / Photo Essay

The Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

  • Prize
    Gold in Editorial/Photo Essay
  • Photographer
    Shobha Gopinath
  • Technical Info
    Olympus Omd Em1; M.zuiko Mft Lenses
  • Photo Date
    Sep/Oct 2016

The ancient tradition of eagle hunting is still preserved in Mongolia, where a female chick is taken from its nest and nurtured and trained by the eagle hunter to hunt for small animals in the vast open steppe. The relationship between man and bird is nothing short of extraordinary. The eagle hunters believe that their souls and that of their eagles are intertwined. An inexplicable bond is formed, but it is not permanent, as they only ‘borrow’ the birds from Nature and release them into the wild after about 7 years, an experience which is profoundly wrenching.