13-year-old Ashol-Pan is only known golden eagle huntress in the world. Among the Kazakh people of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia, hunting with golden eagles has been a way of life for thousands of years and boys begin to learn how to hunt for foxes and hares with the birds starring around age 13. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of celebrated hunter Han Gohadok, is the only known female to be trained in the tradition.
Ashol-Pan’s eldest brother was going to be trained to take on the family’s hunting duties but, after he was drafted into the army, Ashol-Pan expressed interest in carrying on the tradition and is now an apprentice hunter. The Kazakhs are the only people that hunt with Asian Golden Eagles, and today there are around 400 practicing falconers.
Photographer Asher Svidensky recently traveled through the Altai mountains and captured an incredible series of photos of Ashol-Pan and her eagle. He also took photos of several boys being trained and recalled: “To see [Ashol-Pan] with the eagle was amazing. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it.”
To view more of Svidensky’s incredible photos of this trailblazing Mighty Girl, visit the BBC at http://bbc.in/1qXqSLy
For hundreds of true stories of female trailblazers in a wide range of fields, visit A Mighty Girl’s “Role Model” biography section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/history-biography/biography
For stories about girls and their love of animals, visit our “Animals & Nature” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/animals-nature?cat=393
If your Mighty Girl is fascinated by the natural world or you’d like to encourage her interest, check out our blog post, “Mighty Careers: I Want To Be A Wildlife Biologist!”, filled with our recommendations for girl-empowering books, toys, and clothing at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=6004
Photo: Asher Svidensky Photography /Caters News Agency