Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan

Tajikistan is the smallest country in Central Asia and is well known for its 7000 m+ mountains. What brought me here was an opportunity to meet and live with a Tajik-Kyrgyz hunter and herder named Orozbek, who was based in the high and remote Pamir region of eastern Tajikistan, just 15 km north of the Wakhan region of Afghanistan. Below are photos of the Pamir Mountains and everyday life in the area.  

Orozbek, like all of the inhabitants of the far eastern Pamirs are Kyrgyz, an ethnicity which comprises only 2% of Tajikistan’s total population of 8 million. With the Eastern Pamir region declaring its independence from Tajikistan after the 1992 Civil War, various organisations such as the Murghab Ecotourism Association have been set up to develop and support community-based programmes to stimulate tourism to this much overlooked and isolated corner of Central Asia. 

Animal husbandry is a primary source of income for many people in the area, in addition to collecting fodder for sale. Alongside sheep, yak are reared in the valleys and the eastern Pamirs has the largest population of them. Pastorlists and nomads, be it the Tajik Kyrgyz, Afghan Wakhi or Pakistani Balti, all use yaks for the same purposes—meat, butter and cream production, load carrying, and producing every-day products from their hair, such as clothing or rope.

Aside from encouraging more visitors to the region, what we hoped to gain from our month with Orozbek was to document and share what daily life is like for an ordinary man and his family living on the roof of the world. For more Pamir Mountains photos and to learn more about life in the area, you can read my e-book—Eastern Tajikistan — A Visual Exploration of Life in the Pamirs published by The Ripcord Adventure Journal.

My photography has been published in the following outlets: