On the road in Mongolia
I was grateful to have such a great Mongolian research team this summer while a fellow for the American Center of Mongolian Studies–lucked out in assembling the best! We had a blast on the road and got so much research done–mission accomplished!
Heading to Siberia!
We were grateful to be served lunch in this welcoming Kazakh home while on the road in Mongolia–hungry from journeying for thousands of miles through the countryside for our research…
Exploring Mongolia (Photo: Emily O’Dell)
I was drawn to this statue in Mongolia while a fellow this summer for the American Center of Mongolian Studies. We were driving by it and I just had to hop out and get a closer look.
My Mongolian colleagues kindly gave me a short history lesson on the statue–in fact, we passed by a number of statues from around the same period on our long journey (thousands of kilometers all over the countryside). But this is the one that really captured my attention and lens–and the dilapidated buildings surrounding it only added to its appeal as an artifact of history…
Dynamic wonder (Photo: Emily O’Dell)
On the road
I was grateful that my colleagues this summer in Asia brought me to so many incredible historical sites–our travels were full of surprises!
On the road
Enjoyed visiting many mosques this summer while on the road doing research with colleagues in Asia–I especially enjoyed the mosques with bright colors…
I had the opportunity to experience Naadam in western Mongolia with my Mongolian colleagues this summer when I was a fellow for the American Center of Mongolian Studies.
Find a seat
We took our seats in the stands after watching a morning archery competition, and felt excited to see our first Naadam in the west (as we had only experienced it before in Ulaanbaatar).
Let the games, begin!
After the usual speeches, the festivities began–with trancing shamans, Genghis Khan on horseback, a traditional Kazakh dance, and a parade of the athletes.
Eagle time (Photo: Emily O’Dell)
Best of all, of course, were the eagles being carried on horseback by men in traditional Kazakh dress. They were the first of many eagles on our journey to come…
On our way out of the stadium, I had to bend down a bit to get a good look at the coolest boots in town–silver moonboots is what they looked like! The man wearing them kindly let me get a close-up of them, and we all agreed that he definitely was sporting the best Mongolian boots this year at Naadam in western Mongolia.
As a fellow this summer in Mongolia at the American Center of Mongolian Studies, my research took me all over the steppe–visiting nomads and places of worship with my adventurous Mongolian colleagues.
To get to the remote locations we were studying, we had to off-road for hours, sometimes days, and stayed in yurts along the way (no shower, hence the hat!).
Right this way
A motorcycle greeted us at each yurt we visited–and often a handful of children playing outside too. You wouldn’t believe how many people can sleep in one yurt!
We were always warmly welcomed with sweets and milk products from the livestock upon entering each yurt. I was very lucky this time to get a yurt cooking lesson from some friendly Kazakh women who taught me how to make these noodles.
I was really taken with their colorful textiles too–especially this pink creation! I won’t lie–I was tempted to buy them all but there wasn’t much room in our car (stocked as it was with supplies for weeks on the road).
Homemade Kazakh textiles
We were so fortunate to have each step along our research journey (thousands of miles!) be so smooth–and I’m grateful to all the nomads who kindly opened their homes to us and shared with us their way of life.
Peace from the steppe
On the road
I spent the summer doing research on the road in Asia and my work took me to many mosques–too many minarets to count!
Watching archery in Mongolia
I enjoyed watching Mongolian archery when celebrating Naadam in Mongolia–and took in all the fabulous and colorful fashion on display by other spectators too!
Yurt time (Photo: Emily O’Dell)
I spent another summer with nomads in Mongolia as a fellow for the American Center of Mongolian Studies–big fan of the yurt life! I managed to capture this little cutie when she peeked her head into the yurt–the halo around her head is all natural.
Cyborg in Palestine
I recently traveled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories–where I was traumatized by an Israeli soldier interrogating me and screaming in my face: “Are you Jew?!? Are you the Jew!?!” I have been to around 60 countries and never seen or experienced anything like it…
Eagles become her
I enjoyed encountering eagles when celebrating Naadam with Kazakhs in western Mongolia while a fellow for the American Center of Mongolian Studies this summer…
American Center of Mongolian Studies in Ulaanbaatar
It was a joy and honor to be a field-research fellow this summer at the American Center of Mongolian Studies in Ulaanbaatar. I am looking forward to sharing some photos from my research there on religion.