21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Aymoldr the Eagle Huntress

Epic sagas, poems, songs, and lore were passed from mouth to mouth – storytellers memorized texts of enormous size, and one of them -favorite among the Nomadic women of the Steppes- was about the adventures of Janyl Myrza, a legendary warrior woman and eagle huntress. Although, lore and archaeological evidence prove that women in antiquity versed in the arts of Bürkitshi (Berkutchi, eagle hunter), yet, it had to revive, after the harsh prosecutions of the Soviet authorities. Eagle hunting families are deeply committed to preserving their ancient legacy, and for over half a decade now, around 10 girls are known in Mongolia practicing the art of Bürkitshi. This is 12yo Aymoldr, the youngest female participant in the Golden Eagle Festival in Ulgii (2022).

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Sagsai, Mongolia
Camera: NIKON D5300
Copyright: © Apostolos Kaloudis