Reindeer Antler Carvings
By Dukha Reindeer Herders
When I first was in Mongolia in the mid 90s, fuzzy or blood antlers were being cut off from reindeer and taken to China in big trucks. It was one way for the Dukha reindeer herders to make money. Unfortunately, they discovered that cutting the live antlers caused their herds to become hosts to parasites and diseases. In the late 90s the herders were given tools to carve antlers, which had fallen off naturally. They know that a new set of antlers grows each year and over the years have become proficient in creating their designs of nature, animals and life in the taiga. Collecting antlers and carving them brings income to the families without harming the reindeer.
I’m grateful to the indigenous reindeer herders for showing us life from their point of view.
This work goes nicely with a screening of Migration, as we see the process of carving in the film.
For information on how to display these in your gallery or museum, contact us.