2018.02.08

The Tsaatan with reindeer

The Tsaatan represent Mongolia’s smallest ethnic minority,  means “with reindeer”, which are nomadic herders, originally inhabited the border region of Russia and Mongolia. Ethnically, the Tsaatan belong to Dukha and Uighar. They call rugged taiga their home, because the hunting and the wild nuts and berries and flora are their traditional meal. Also, they get all their basic needs from reindeer, such as milk for food, skins for clothing and antlers for tools. They move between five or ten times in a year, because of the forage needs of reindeer, weather. The Tsaatan is famous by Shaman. Researchers say that the origin of the Shaman is from Tsaatan. The Shamans communicate with spirits through ritual, and they get an advice for their problems. Now there are approximately only 300 Tsaatan people of 50 households live in taiga. Taiga ecosystems are dominated by forested area, primarily composed of larch trees. Open valleys that resemble polar tundra are also typical in taiga ecosystems. Musk deer, sable and argali sheep, brown bears, wolves, elk, moose and marmots live in taiga, dozens of species of lichen, along with sedges, grasses and willow provide nutrition for reindeer. Also, there are berries, mushrooms, pine nuts and variety of medicinal plants in taiga. This is one of the unique ecosystems in Mongolia.

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