The Last Eagle Hunters of Mongolia





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Published on May 10, 2017

The Last Eagle Hunters: In a remote corner of Mongolia live the last practitioners of an ancient tradition - the eagle hunters. Passed down through countless generations, this skill is at risk of being lost to the modern world. Subscribe to Journeyman here: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c...

Beken Ermyekbai is one of a long line of eagle hunters, and can identify ten generations of hunters in his family. The golden eagle is at the core of a culture that’s survived more than a thousand years. However, now he is worried that the custom will die out with him, if his son moves away from the ancestral way of life. "If he says he’s going to school far away and he’s not going to become an eagle hunter, I cannot tell him otherwise", he tells us. "My only wish is for him to teach one of his kids this tradition which has continued for generations".

Beken is not alone in worrying for the future of this tradition, but there are still young people actively pursuing it. Akbota is a young girl learning the skill from her father. Whilst the dictats of a conservative society have typically barred women from the practice, her father is keen for her to learn. "It makes me really happy to see her succeed. She’s making good progress, and that makes me proud." For her part, Akbota is determined to preserve this ancient part of their culture. "We need this. I want to contribute my part and teach others, to let it live on.”

For similar stories, see:
Mongolia's Economic Boom Is Leaving Many Behind
Mongolia's Nomads Are Making Money Again
Caviar Mafia Go Unchallenged in Kazakhstan

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ABC Foreign Correspondent – Ref. 7094

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