There are only a few places on Earth where the time seems to have stopped. Here people and nature are cohabiting together, just like in the ancient times. One of those places is the North of Mongolia. There, in the East Taiga region of the Khovsgol province, lives the Tsaatan community. One of the last remaining nomadic groups of reindeer herders.
Fascinated by their unique lifestyle, the Japanese photographer, Madoka Ikegami decided to pay them a visit. “The Tsaatan people live in either East or West Taiga, and I only visited East Taiga,” the photographer said. “There were five families at the time of my visit as, unexpectedly, the rest of the community – mostly young ones – had moved to a further remote area just a few days before my arrival.”
Since forever, the Tsaatan tribe and the reindeers have harmoniously lived together, as those people’s dependency on the animals they take care of is crucial. Reindeers are being a fundamental part of their diet, but they are also being used for transportation.
It was that special coexistence and that unique relationship human-wildlife what motived Madoka to visit that far north lands. The fascinating photos she managed to capture show the only way we should all treat nature. Respect!
“It was so fascinating to see the peaceful face of this little child, her deep trust in this animal, which is much larger than her. And the reindeer doesn’t look to mind her either,” she said.
Credit: MADOKA IKEGAMI