Featuring the Tsaatan reindeer herders of Mongolia

May-June, 2009: East Taiga, Mongolia

A people sustained by their herd of reindeer, the Tsaatan people remain one of the few completely nomadic communities in Mongolia; living in canvas tipis year-round, hunting and foraging for much of their food and moving with the seasons. In recent years they have enthusiastically adopted 20th century technologies. It seems that every nomadic dwelling now comes equipped with solar panels, dishes and televisions sets. Nestled in the mountains, hours from the nearest village, the Tsaatan people's remote encampments hum with the sounds of static, beeping radios and ringtones among the natural drones of the taiga.

Special thanks to Zaya: guide and translator
and Munkhbileg: translator

This is one in a series of short documentaries exploring Mongolian culture and religion, sponsored by a Fulbright grant.

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The tsaatan people

Tribes PRO

Tribes movie who are living in the sovet unieThe Dukha, Dukhans[2] or Duhalar (Mongolian: Цаатан, Tsaatan) are a small Tuvan (Tozhu Tuvans) Turkic community of reindeer herders living in northern Khövsgöl Aimag of Mongolia.

The name Tsaatan, which…


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Tribes movie who are living in the sovet unieThe Dukha, Dukhans[2] or Duhalar (Mongolian: Цаатан, Tsaatan) are a small Tuvan (Tozhu Tuvans) Turkic community of reindeer herders living in northern Khövsgöl Aimag of Mongolia.

The name Tsaatan, which means ‘those who have reindeer’ in the Mongolian language, were originally Tuvinian reindeer herders.[3]

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