The margins of human civilization house some of the greatest secrets and mysteries. With globalization encroaching more and more on those that try and maintain their unique ways of life, it’s incredible to observe those that persevere.

This is what makes the Dukha people of Mongolia so fascinating. The nomadic tribe has lived in the region for centuries. During that time, they have developed a relationship with wild animals that is utterly amazing. Photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkhami recently documented them in a series of stunning photographs.

Through their own brand of animal husbandry, the Dukha people have learned to use reindeer as a means of transportation over the treacherous terrain they call home.

This young Dukha girl prepares to bathe a reindeer calf.

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They are known to hunt small woodland animals like rabbits, the pelts of which can earn them about two US dollars.

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These days, there are only about 44 Dukha families left, totaling about 200-400 people. The reindeer herds are thinning as well

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The reindeer, once accustomed to their human friends, are rather docile and gentle companions to even the smallest Dukha child.

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The reindeer, once accustomed to their human friends, are rather docile and gentle companions to even the smallest Dukha child.

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Eagle hunting is held in high esteem and considered a privilege. Those who are able to do it are well respected in the community.

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It’s truly incredible to see the Dukha’s relationship with the natural world, and how they work to preserve their way of life.

Anybody else suddenly wants a pet reindeer?