Home / PhotographyPhotographer Captures One of the Last Surviving Female Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

Photographer Captures One of the Last Surviving Female Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

Mongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo Thomas

Deep within the wild, mountainous regions of Mongolia, a small group of nomads keeps the ancient art of eagle hunting alive. The traditional form of falconry involves training birds of prey to help hunt wild animals such as foxes and small hares—a powerful skill that has been handed down from father to son over thousands of years. German photographer Leo Thomas recently visited Western Mongolia’s Altai region to capture this fascinating culture.

There are approximately 300 remaining eagle keepers today, and the vast majority of them are male. However, while on his trip visiting the remote Altai region, Thomas had the opportunity to meet Zamanbol, 1 of just 10 eagle huntresses in Mongolia. She’s part of a Kazakh nomad family, and spends most of her days going to school in the city. On the weekend, she trains with her trusted eagle alongside her brother, Barzabai. Thomas’ images capture Zamanbol on horseback and dressed in handmade fur clothing, emitting her free-spirited strength and unbreakable bond with her eagle.

Thomas says of Barzabai (Zamanbol’s 26-year-old brother who happens to be the same age as Thomas): “While he’s living in the outdoors surrounded by family, incredible nature and animals, I’m sitting more than 60% of my time in front of a screen,” says the photographer. “A pretty basic comparison, but it made me think.” Thomas’ stunning photographs capture the beauty this mysterious, historical culture—one that’s far from that of the western world.

Scroll down to check out some of Thomas’ snapshots from Mongolia, and find more from his impressive portfolio on Instagram.

German photographer Leo Thomas recently visited Western Mongolia’s Altai region to capture the lives of traditional eagle hunters.

Mongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo Thomas

There he met Zamanbol, 1 of just 10 female eagle hunters left in Mongolia.

Mongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo ThomasMongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo ThomasMongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo Thomas

Thomas’ growing portfolio captures the beauty of this mysterious culture.

Mongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo ThomasMongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo ThomasMongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo ThomasMongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo ThomasMongolian Eagle Hunters Photos by Leo ThomasLeo Thomas: Facebook | Instagram

My Modern met granted permission to feature photos by Leo Thomas.

Related Articles:

Interview: Capturing the Beautiful Bond Between Mongolian Eagle Keepers and Their Birds

Interview: One Photographer’s Journey to Immortalize the Nomadic People of Northern Mongolia

Interview: Photographer Spends 17 Years Documenting Life in Mongolia

Interview: Photographer Explores the Elusive Beauty of Nomadic Life in Mongolia

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

Want to become a My Modern Met Member?

Find out how by becoming a Patron. Check out the exclusive rewards, here.

Sponsored Content