When photographer Asher Svidensky made his four-month trek through western Mongolia to document Kazakh eagle hunters’ lives, he discovered a new story, one that surprisingly included girls.

Eagle hunting is traditionally taught to boys by their fathers when they turn thirteen. Today, it is a dying part of Mongolian culture, as more and more young men are leaving their families, and the hunting duties behind them. As a result, more girls are learning the skills to replace their brothers and preserve the cultural tradition.

Asher met Ashol Pan, the 13-year old daughter of an experienced eagle hunter, whose son was drafted into the army, and will likely not return to his eagle hunting duties.

Set in the backdrop of the Mongolian mountains, these photographs show Ashol handling the grand eagle for her very first time.

Learn and check out more of Asher’s Eagle Hunters of Mongolia series here.





All images © Asher Svidensky 2014