Olgi, western Mongolia<br />
Every year dozens of Kazakh hunters gather for the Golden Eagle festival amidst the craggy far western Altai Mountain range. In a long-standing tradition, the hunters dress up in their finest furs and proudly display their eagles with impressive wingspans. They play traditional games: archery, horse and camel racing and Khukh-bar, a tug of war played on horseback with a sheepskin, although the most anticipated event that these proud men come for is to show off the skills of their hunting birds. Only one bird is declared a winner. But at the end of the day each man rides out just as regally as he rode in, covering the long distance back to his village on horseback with the weight of his huge eagle impressively balanced on the crook of his arm.

National Geographic Photographer's Favorite Places to Photograph

10 images
Olgi, western Mongolia
Every year dozens of Kazakh hunters gather for the Golden Eagle festival amidst the craggy far western Altai Mountain range. In a long-standing tradition, the hunters dress up in their finest furs and proudly display their eagles with impressive wingspans. They play traditional games: archery, horse and camel racing and Khukh-bar, a tug of war played on horseback with a sheepskin, although the most anticipated event that these proud men come for is to show off the...
more »
  • Date: 1 Oct 2006
  • Location: Olgii Western Mongolia Mongolia
  • Filename: Wright_085.jpg
  • Image size: 930x1400 pixels