Meghan Boody - Magical Mystery Tour

Meghan Boody - Magical Mystery Tour

 Magsar, a reindeer herder who welcomed me into his family teepee my first night with the West Tsaaten. I was initially worried about sleeping with a family of 7, especially when I woke up to a symphony of snoring in the middle of the night. It turned out it was the reindeer grunting, signaling it was time to be milked! © Meghan Boody

Magsar, a reindeer herder who welcomed me into his family teepee my first night with the West Tsaaten. I was initially worried about sleeping with a family of 7, especially when I woke up to a symphony of snoring in the middle of the night. It turned out it was the reindeer grunting, signaling it was time to be milked! © Meghan Boody

By Meghan Boody

PsycheSuperStar, my fantastical series on dark love and rescue needed a racing sequence. Turned off by the typical glitzy race track scenario, I went on the hunt for a country with horse races that embraced the primal power of it’s land and traditions. When I came across the Nadaam festival in Mongolia, I instantly knew my search was over. These much anticipated national races feature young jockeys, often no more that 8 or 9 years old, on wild young horses careening across the steppes. There were no fences and no tracks. It was up to the jockey to determine the best path to take. Happily, I managed not to get run over and was able to get up close to the madcap excitement. 

 Young jockeys race in the competition for 3 year old horses at the Nadaam festival in Tsagaannuur. Nadaam is a huge deal in Mongolia. Villagers prepare all year for these races. © Meghan Boody

Young jockeys race in the competition for 3 year old horses at the Nadaam festival in Tsagaannuur. Nadaam is a huge deal in Mongolia. Villagers prepare all year for these races. © Meghan Boody

 We came accross this little convoy in the middle of nowhere. It turns out they were trekking 4 hours to another camp. It was the first time I saw the Tsaaten riding the reindeer. It took my breath away, but eventually became the most natural thing in the world. © Meghan Boody

We came accross this little convoy in the middle of nowhere. It turns out they were trekking 4 hours to another camp. It was the first time I saw the Tsaaten riding the reindeer. It took my breath away, but eventually became the most natural thing in the world. © Meghan Boody

 Ganbat was a man in love with his two children, Emujiin and Temujin and way of life. Here he is offering a salt lick to the reindeer. © Meghan Boody

Ganbat was a man in love with his two children, Emujiin and Temujin and way of life. Here he is offering a salt lick to the reindeer. © Meghan Boody

While researching Mongolia, I found out about the reindeer herders way up north near Siberia. The more I learned about the last remaining tribes of the Tsaaten people, the more charmed I became by their uncluttered relationship to each other, their animals and the land. My journey to this remote region and the time I spent with the Tsaaten quickly took center stage. 

 Otgon the daughter of Lhagva, my horse driver. After our first 6 day trek together, he invited me and my guide to spend the night in his small log cabin. © Meghan Boody

Otgon the daughter of Lhagva, my horse driver. After our first 6 day trek together, he invited me and my guide to spend the night in his small log cabin. © Meghan Boody

 A young Ghenghis Kahn gives me the hairy eyeball. © Meghan Boody

A young Ghenghis Kahn gives me the hairy eyeball. © Meghan Boody

 Everything revolves around the central stove in a teepee. I was impressed by the efficiency of these simple kitchens. I came away thinking I had way too much stuff. © Meghan Boody

Everything revolves around the central stove in a teepee. I was impressed by the efficiency of these simple kitchens. I came away thinking I had way too much stuff. © Meghan Boody

 Horses cooling off after a hot day. In Mongolia, all the animals roam free. © Meghan Boody

Horses cooling off after a hot day. In Mongolia, all the animals roam free. © Meghan Boody

I am eager to incorporate these images into my otherworldly photo novella. In the meantime I am excited to share these “straight" photographs (unusual for me) which document the Mongolian people and their magical world.

 All the young Mongolian girls have meticulously coiffed hair and most sport heels. © Meghan Boody

All the young Mongolian girls have meticulously coiffed hair and most sport heels. © Meghan Boody

 A Mongolian woman with her son and yak herd. Nomadic families roam the land in search of the tall grass for their animals. © Meghan Boody

A Mongolian woman with her son and yak herd. Nomadic families roam the land in search of the tall grass for their animals. © Meghan Boody

 Young jockeys race in the competition for 3 year old horses at the Nadaam festival in Tsagaannuur. Nadaam is a huge deal in Mongolia. Villagers prepare all year for these races. © Meghan Boody

Young jockeys race in the competition for 3 year old horses at the Nadaam festival in Tsagaannuur. Nadaam is a huge deal in Mongolia. Villagers prepare all year for these races. © Meghan Boody

 A young mother and her baby. This teepee took the prize for best decor. © Meghan Boody

A young mother and her baby. This teepee took the prize for best decor. © Meghan Boody

 Young herders letting off steam after dinner. If you can ride a horse, chances are you’ll be fine on a reindeer. © Meghan Boody

Young herders letting off steam after dinner. If you can ride a horse, chances are you’ll be fine on a reindeer. © Meghan Boody

For more information about Meghan Boody, click here.

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