A Culture on the Edge: Luca Bracali Documents the Disappearing “Reindeer Men” of Mongolia

When photojournalist and conservationist Luca Bracali first told me of his recent return trip to document the nomadic Tsaatan people of Mongolia, I didn’t fully understand the scale or scope of his journey. Now, via his reportage in National Geographic Italia, it is possible to peer inside this incredible and shrinking world. See the full image set via the article here and an English translation below.

Gli ultimi uomini renna della Mongolia

Sono gli ultimi testimoni di un tempo. Oggi di questa grande etnia millenaria e di origine turca si contano solamente 50 famiglie. Conosciuti anche come Tsaatan o uomini-renna, i Dukha sono “il popolo della taiga” oppure, come loro stessi amano definirsi, “i cavalieri delle r

*Translated for context from the original text in Italian by Luca Bracali

They are the last witnesses of an era. Today in the new millennium, only about 50 families, originally of Turkish origin, remain. Also known as Tsaatan or reindeer men, the Dukha are “the people of the taiga” or, as they themselves like to define themselves, “the reindeer men.”

We are on the border between Mongolia and Siberia, in a remote and isolated area covered with fir trees and larches, in a portion of that which is the largest forest in the Northern Hemisphere.

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