Frédéric Lagrange Kazakh Eagle Hunters

“True civilization… is not found in gaz or steam or table turning. It consists in the diminution of original sin. Nomad peoples, shepard, hunters, farmers, and even cannibals, all, by virtue of energy and personal dignity may be superiors of our races of the west. These perhaps will be destroyed.” –Charles Baudelaire, Intimate Journals.

“I first traveled to Western Mongolia during my very first trip in the country in the summer of 2001, I was still a photo assistant then. I had read about eagle hunting, an old Kazakh tradition still practiced by the Kazakh ethnic minority in Mongolia, mostly taking place during the winter months.

I organized another trip in the winter of 2004 and planned to spend a few weeks following those eagle hunters. A huge snow storm upsetted my plans. Caught in a thick layer of snow on a frozen lake, my driver and I were luckily rescued by a military convoy that was passing by us and I ended up spending my precious days in a border military base waiting for the storm to pass and the roads to clear instead of following those eagle hunters.

I have been back in Mongolia since to work on a book project, but I visited different parts of the country, the North, the East and Central Mongolia, meanwhile still keeping in mind the unfinished task I had once started. I finally took the time and went back in December 2015 to visit the Kazakh eagle hunters and add that final work of Mongol life that would complete my book project.”