William Kremer’s article about Ashol-Pan really struck a cord with me. Ashol-Pan is Mongolian girl who has joined the boys to learn a 2,000 year-old traditional hunting method. It’s neat to see how culture is simultaneously preserved and altered — adapting to survive.
Photographer Asher Svidensky remarked that while the 15lb birds weighed down the boys’ underdeveloped arms, Ashol-Pan seemed to be a natural. “To see her with the eagle was amazing,” he recalls. “She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it.”
The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal – and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?