Human civilization has come a long way since modern humans appeared about 200,000 years ago in Africa.
And from living in caves and making use of what nature has to offer, humans have learned to build cities with millions inhabitants that our ancestors never could have imagined.
Meanwhile, globalization has made it harder for indigenous cultures to preserve their way of life.
However, there are still some remote, nomadic peoples that have contiued their way of life for centuries. For example, the Dukha people of Mongolia.
They have developed a special relationship with the wild animals of their region, which photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkham has captured in a way that will leave you in awe.
Scroll down to see his stunning pictures:
The Dukha people have created a bond with animals that most people can only dream of. For example, they often use reindeer as transportation.
The reindeer have been domesticated and they are treated almost like family.
Even at a young age, Dukha children learn to train reindeer and gain their respect.
This young girl is getting ready to wash a reindeer calf.
The Dukha people also use reindeer milk to make yogurt and cheese, which are staples of the tribe. They only slaughter a few reindeer per year for their meat and skins.
Now, there are only some 40 Dukha families left, totaling 200-400 people.
The people are also known as "Tsaatan," meaning "reindeer."
In recent years, the Dukha people have also learned to live with curious tourists.
Visitors buy handicrafts and ride reindeer.
Although they could live in one location, the Dukha people continue to live as nomads.
They move from one place to another throughout the year.
The Dukha people not only have a close relationship with reindeer...
... they also train wolves!
And hunt with golden eagles.
Owning an eagle means high status. And the few who manage to hunt with this large bird of prey often hold a strong position in the society.
Most people hunt small wild animals like rabbits. But they are are also sold in markets.
The Dukha people believe that they have a spiritual contact with animals.
Their special contact with animals allows them to feel at home in nature and maintain their culture.
Lately, the outside world has been influencing them more and more and making it more difficult for the nomads to live in their traditional way.
It's sure great to see the Dukha people's culture and their relationship with the animal kingdom.
That they have managed to preserve their way of life is wonderful—and a good reminder that our world has so many different cultures.
Please share these beautiful photos if you know someone who would also be fascinated by them!
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