Photo Essay

Mongolia's Nomads

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Mongolian pastoral herders make up one of the world’s last remaining nomadic cultures. For millennia they have lived on the steppes, grazing their livestock on the lush grasslands. But today, their traditional way of life is at risk on multiple fronts. Alongside a rapidly changing economic landscape, climate change and desertification are also threatening nomadic life, killing both herds and grazing land. Due to severe winters and poor pasture, many thousands of herders have traded in their centuries-old way of life for employment in mining towns and urban areas. Most herders who stay on the steppe push their children to pursue education and get jobs in the cities believing that pastoral nomadism is no longer a secure or sustainable way of life.

This essay features a selection of images from the book, Mongolia’s Nomads: Life in the Steppe, by the Vanishing Cultures Project.

More to Explore

Photo Essay
The Nepal Quake: Protecting Cultural Heritage

These photographs capture Nepal's efforts to protect irreplaceable cultural artifacts after the 8.7 magnitude earthquake in 2015.

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Photo Essay
Still Lifes from a Vanishing City

View a portrait of post-colonial Yangon and Burmese life inside old colonial buildings.

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Film
Perfectly Normal

Meet Jordan, a middle-aged man with Asperger's Syndrome living in Los Angeles who finds love.  

Create your library

Sign up or log in to save your favorite stories and lessons, create custom collections, and share with others.

Watch Anytime, Anywhere

Watch our films on your phone, tablet, or connected TV.