Mongolia's Kazakh with Golden Eagles

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The tradition of hunting with golden eagles is said to have been started by the nomadic Khitans from Manchuria in northern China in 940 AC

The tradition of hunting with golden eagles is said to have been started by the nomadic Khitans from Manchuria in northern China in @ Stefan Cruysbergs of Lommel, my home Town in Belgium.

The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers

The Kazakh eagle hunters of Mongolia have continuously practiced their unique sport. Their large golden eagles are trained to catch rabbits, marmots, foxes and even wolves. The hunter is called kusbegi or berkutchi. Photo by Stefan Cruysberghs

Photographer captures the Kazakh people practising their ancient tradition of hunting with golden eagles.

Photographer captures the Kazakh people practising their ancient tradition of hunting with golden eagle* Stefan, the photographer lives in my home Town Lommel in Belgium. He was 1 of my boys in my classroom.

The Kazakh eagle hunting tradition was always male-dominated, but nowadays some fathers teach their young daughters.

Cruysberghs says: 'The Kazakh eagle hunting tradition was always male-dominated, but nowadays some fathers teach their young daughters'

The hunters wear traditional costumes, complete with fur coats made of marmot, fox or wolf skins that have been caught by their eagles.

Kazakh eagle hunter by scipbe Olgii Altai Altay Arendjager Berkutchi Eagle Golden Eagle Festival Golden eagle Golden eagle hunter

The Kazakh people take a break and cool off during the Golden Eagle Festival.

Two Kazakh eagle hunters who let their horses drink in the river after the first…

Speaking about the strong bond between bird and human, Cruysberghs said: "A long-term relationship is created"

A Kazakh eagle hunter at the Golden Eagle Festival in Ulgii in the Altai mountains in Mongolia. Today, approximately 250 Kazakh people that live in the western Mongolia still practice the ancient art of hunting with golden eagles.

Eagle hunter Berik sits with his eagle at the festival in Bayan Olgii, a province in western Mongolia

Eagle hunter Berik sits with his eagle at the festival in Bayan Olgii, a province in western Mongolia

On horseback, the Kazakh people compete in the Golden Eagle Festival in Bayan-Olgii

On horseback, the Kazakh people compete in the Golden Eagle Festival in Bayan-Olgii @ Stefan Cruysberghs, photographer of my home Town Lommel in Belgium*

All of the competitors pose together to commemorate the occasion - along with their beloved birds, of course.

All of the competitors pose together to commemorate the occasion - along with their beloved birds, of course.

Talent knows no age: Here, 13-year-old Ashol-Pan celebrates a win at the festival.

Talent knows no age: Here, Ashol-Pan celebrates a win at the festival.

The more extravagant the coat, the more respected the hunter is when it comes to the festival's traditional garb.

The more extravagant the coat, the more respected the hunter is when it comes to the festival's traditional garb.

A hunter races with an eagle on his arm during the annual two-day festival that takes place each October.

A hunter races with an eagle on his arm during the annual two-day festival that takes plac.

After competing with their eagle for six to eight years, the female bird is then released back into the wild so that she can breed.

After competing with their eagle for six to eight years, the female bird is then released back into the wild so that she can breed.

"The relationship between the eagle and hunter only lasts for six to eight years"

See the Kazakh people practice hunting with golden eagles

Here, the Kazakh people ride on horseback, accompanied by their trusty eagles.

Here, the Kazakh people ride on horseback, accompanied by their trusty eagles* @ Stefan Cruysbergs of Lommel, my home Town in Belgium.

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