FOR THE DUHALAR PEOPLE of Mongolia’s boreal forest, pastoral nomadism wasn’t a stage that preceded sedentary civilization, but an
alternative to it, in both ancient and modern times.
Their domesticated reindeer provide them with milk
and transportation, as well as the basis for their
spiritual connection to the natural world.
After World War II, the Soviet Union displaced
the Duhalar from the forests their ancestors had
occupied for millennia. In the 1950s, the Duhalar
were “resettled” on timber mills and fisheries by
Mongolia’s communist regime.
When Mongolia’s communist era ended in 1992,
about fifty Duhalar families moved back into their
ancestral mountains and sought to rekindle the ancient
bond between people, animals, and the land. O