Found in the harsh terrain and inhospitable climate of northern Mongolia are the nomadic Tsaatan (Reindeer People). For generations, daily life has been centred around their herd of reindeer who in return sustain the livelihood of the Tsaatan.
The reindeer are a resourceful animal providing the Tsaatan with most, if not all the basic needs for continuing the same life which has been lived int eh Taiga for over 3000 years.
Reindeer antlers used for trade and medicinal purposes, the female reindeer are milked twice a day for milk which can also be made into cheese. Their dung is used to fuel stoves and the adult animals are also a vital system of transport.
A nomadic lifestyle has been ingrained in the unique culture of the Tsaatan, who move their orts (tepee) between 5 and 10 times per year to find special grass for their reindeer to feed
Today, the Tsaatan represent Mongolia’s smallest ethnic minority, with approximately only 45 nomadic households herding a diminishing 2200 reindeer in comparison to the 15000 reindeer that lived a mere 15 years ago.