Archives for the month of: October, 2012

1 Falconry is a centuries old ethnic Kazakh tradition in Bayan Ulgii, a poor aimag in Western Mongolia.

2Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is a critical natural habitat area and World Heritage site.

3Golden eagles are used traditionally for hunting foxes, whose fur is used to make hats and for warmth.

4In captivity, eagles often sit idle inside the hunter’s home or tied up to a ger outside.

5Eagle hunting was inscribed to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

6Intangible heritage typically comprises handicraft, song and dance. Falconry is the only inscription involving wild animals.

7An eagle hunter rides across the craggy, barren and mountainous landscape en route to the Golden Eagle Festival.

8To play without passion is inexcusable. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

The festival features eagle hunting and other contests like Kokbar, a traditional form of tug of war.


An eagle hunter ties a jess, a pair of leather ankle bands and a leash-like rope, to prevent his eagle from flying away.


Festival entrants register with the organizing committee. They compete for cash prizes, which are awarded at the end of the two-day event.