Visit China’s Last Reindeer Tribe

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In the original forests of Daxinganling, northeastern Inner Mongolia, there is a mysterious tribes inhabited by hunting and herding reindeer - Aoluguya Ewenki; they hide in the Snowy Forest, survive under extreme conditions, and adhere to the most primitive way of hunting…they are also known as China’s last “hunting tribes”. 

In Genhe City (the hinterland of Daxinganling), the forest coverage rate is 97%. Drive along the logging road, less than ten minutes, the sight outside the vehicle was replaced by Snowy Forest, and we were surrounded by forest of Daxinganling. 

It was afternoon when we arrived at Budongxia Hunter Point, where we saw a group of reindeer getting together on the open space, not far from the tent. 

Reindeers belong to Arctic biological, and haven’t been fully domesticated. Their style is very peculiar, with the horse's head, deer’s horn, ass’s body, and ox’s hoof. 

The hunter point we visited is called Budongxia Hunter Point, because the name of the mistress of the Hunters Point is Budongxia. She dressed in traditional Ewenki national costumes to greet us with her beloved reindeers. 

Today there are only about two hundred Ewenki people, and their mainly life has become reindeer herding instead of hunting. Under the call of government, most of them begin to settle in Aoluguya townships. However, because the reindeer can not captive breeding, so there are six reindeer hunters point distributed in jungle of Daxinganling, and Budongxia is one of them.

In order to satisfy our curiosity of reindeer, Budongxia deliberately called back the reindeer in the forest. Look, just clap her hands, the reindeers run back from the forest. 

Although reindeers have not fully domesticated, but may be have lived in the jungle for many years, they were not afraid to see us at all, but full of curiosity. 

As long as you stand still, they will come around and close to you. 

The curious reindeer ran over and scrutinized my lens…

Ah~ their favorite dry bacteria food.

The most interesting is that when the man of the house prepares to pull the deer carts for us, a group of reindeer immediately surrounded him, try to close to him, just like a baby… 

The most surprising is that in crowded places, the reindeers which were selected to responsible to pull carts were waiting there quietly, ignoring the other reindeers, like sensible kids. 

This cone shaped house surrounded with birch bark is the temporary house for Evenki live in forests.

Now Ewenki people live in the yurts government build for them in winter, but in the summer, they still prefer to live in such a traditional house, because they can see the stars and moon at night.

When leaving the hunters point, the passionate Budongxia sent us to the outside of the forest. 

Looking back, reindeer were lining up to walk in the jungle they live. Budongxia told us that the main food of reindeer was moss and wild mushrooms in the forest. They ran out every day to find their own food in groups each day will be back to eat salt, nothing to worry about them getting lost. 

Although the visit is not long, but the simple and goodness Ewenki people gave us a deep impression.

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