13-year-old Aisholpan Nurgaiv is breaking new ground in a 2,000-year-old tradition

13-year-old Aisholpan Nurgaiv is breaking new ground in a 2,000-year-old tradition: she is the only known female golden eagle hunter in Mongolia. 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 traditionally begin to learn how to hunt for foxes and hares with the birds starting around age thirteen. Aisholpan, the daughter of celebrated hunter Han Gohadok, is the only known female to be trained in the tradition. Now, Aisholpan and her father are the subjects of a new documentary film, “The Eagle Huntress," which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to standing ovations.

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shan palmer