Friday, October 16, 2015

Eagle Huntress

Ashol-Pan, the now 14-year-old Mongolian/Kazakh celebrity who rose to fame online, is a primary example of the potential of new media technologies to transform the lives of nomadic women. In January, 2016, Ashol-Pan will star alongside her family in Eagle Huntress, a documentary that follows her life in the remote mountains of Tsambagarav Uul National Park. The film will also call attention to the rapidly disappearing tradition of eagle hunting.

A day earlier, Ashol-Pan’s mother, Almagul, had sat in front of the camera and talked about her daily life, oriented around caring for livestock and making dairy products and food for her family. She has never eagle-hunted, although she often feeds and cares for her daughter’s and husband’s eagles. She has a cellphone, which she uses infrequently, and watches television occasionally with her family — especially films in Mongolian. She likes technology, but is in no way attached to it. She is proud of her daughter’s fame, but then, she is proud of all of her four children. And while she feels that technology has played a role in her daughter’s celebrity status, she does not have a desire to use technology more regularly. She is satisfied with her life.

At the end of the interview, I asked: “How has fame changed your daughter’s life?” Almagul smiled. “We’ve been very lucky. I’m very proud of my daughter. But, I also worry about her. In Mongolia, we have this belief that fame is bad luck. So, I worry that too much fame will bring my daughter bad luck.”
You can read the rest of this article here.

You can see more pictures of Ashol-Pan here, along with more information about her and Mongolian nomad culture.

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