Tsaatans - the Reindeer People
Tsaatans, known as Reindeer Herders, live in the Khuvsgul Province, Northern Part of Mongolia which is near the border with Russia. Their lives are divided into two different parts which are East and West of the Darkhad Depression of Northern Mongolia.
There are probably only 40 families left with about 1,500 reindeers in both east and west taiga in a Tsagaannuur soum.
The tribal leader of east taiga is Mr. Ganbaa and his wife Mrs. Purvee and while we were talking, he said this year taiga has had heavy snow and reindeers are persistent in snow. That’s why tsaatans are happier when taiga is full of snow.
Life of a Tsaatan family depends fully on reindeers. They don’t have any other animals, except for a few horses, but they use them only in summer time.
A girl, who glossed her lips, helped the family to collect woods. Winter is time to go to school for children.
In Taiga, the sun rises late in the morning and sets early in the evening.
Enjoying sun from grandma Suren’s teepee (urts or the yurt). Grandma had already heated the stove before we woke up, which made teepee to be quickly warmed up.
First time riding a reindeer is completely different to ride a horse. Usually, male reindeers are used for riding. A single reindeer can travel for up to 30 km or more on a single day.
Until spring comes and melts the snow, reindeers are kept on mountain base on themselves. So that they are protected from the extreme cold by large mountains and thick snow. Tsaatan erases footprints of reindeers from snow to avoid wolf attacks since the only danger to these reindeers is wild wolves.
Best Animal Photo of 2016! Of Daily Record. Reindeer in the full moon. Reindeer is tied in the evening and freed during a day, because of protecting wild games
Mr. Batkhuu, a member of tsaatan minority group, one of our local guide is so photo-genetic and it is sad that modern development makes its way into their remote habitat, their ancient traditions are now at risk of dying out.
UK's well-known newspaper emphasized its Christmas edition about Reindeer Herders.
Reindeers are going south alongside Tengis river to cross it. Since the river is huge it was not frozen completely.