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fine art prints by National Geographic photographer Matthieu Paley

Showing 1–32 of 57 results

Abdul Aziz

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After ten days without meeting anyone, we came across this nomadic tent on the edge of the Lut desert. Abdul Aziz, the campement chief, sat next to his home under the stars, later offering me a golden pen. His tent felt like an extension of the hills in the distance.

Alda, Rus & Burgut

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Alda, her husband Rus with their 3-year-old golden eagle in their Kazakh yurt. Bayan Őlgii province is in the far west of Mongolia and is predominantly populated by Kazakh. They have bigger yurts than Mongols. Even in the most remote areas,  yurts today have electricity, a solar panel resting on the roof, a TV in the corner.

Aqzau

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High above the tree line, a winter caravan of Kyrgyz nomads relies on sure-footed yaks to traverse a treacherous path down to the lower valley. At altitudes above 14,000 feet (4300m), winters in the Little Pamir last eight months or more, and snow can fall even in summer.

Atom Bu

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Atom Bu, daughter of the Khan, carries a pair of lambs to be reunited with their mothers for the night. On especially cold days the vulnerable young animals are kept warm in cloth bags hung in the herders’ huts.

Avdegar

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We hiked for eight hours straight, with the full moon rising behind us. Here is Passu village and its glacier, seen from the Avdegar winter pasture (4000m). The Karakoram Highway snakes its way through the landscape. A memorable night sleeping out in the open. Karakoram, Pakistan.

Ayeem

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Ayeem Khan wears boots borrowed from her father and the red veil of an unmarried Kyrgyz girl to be traded for a white one when she weds. Twice a day she milks the family’s yaks; some milk curd will be dried for use in winter, when yaks give less.

Bactrians

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One of this white out days where I couldn’t stay in. Momo, a young shepherd working for the Khan family, takes a group of Bactrian camels out of camp. Used for their wool, milk and transportation, Bactrian camels are the most prized animals of the nomadic Afghan Kyrgyz of the High Pamir – the world’s remotest high altitude community.

Bakh Shoh

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We met the day before, he was cutting barley with his sisters and uncles. I returned early morning, walking near his home, wanting in… Bakh Shoh again! His resting face, waiting for tea. But then he could crack up and laugh, or do quick dance moves, listening to his little orange radio. Then back to resting face. Can you imagine? It’s a photographer’s luxury to pick a moment, yet know there is more to it. In fact there is always more to it.

Bökh

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I finally got the eyes closed. The intimacy of the outfit, the expression, the touching, not what one assimilates with wrestling. It’s all out there. Wrestling is one of Mongolia’s age-old ‘Three Manly Skills’, along with horsemanship and archery – it’s called Bökh. Before a match, tradition dictates that the wrestler must keep one hand on his trainer’s shoulders and circle around him a few times with his eyes closed. Respect. Khövsgöl Province.

Bulunkou

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The Pamir mountains, partly wrapped in sand dunes, rise above Bulunkou reservoir, in Xinjiang, China. We were traveling by bus on the Karakoram Highway (KKH), the highest paved road in the world and the only ground transport link between China and Pakistan.

Chimi

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I processed the film few months after returning from Mongolia. It was the first time one of my photographs surprised me — something abstract to it that I did not control. I tried to get it back, that did not work out. But other things happened. After her morning session milking the yaks, Chimi looks at me, her sister twirls in the back. Near the Zagastain Davaa, or Fish Tail Pass. I used an old Nikon camera with a waist viewer.

Daryo Boi

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Early morning with Daryo Boi. Everyone calls him Momo, he is the shepherd hired by the khan (the community’s chief), here in his work outfit shortly after the herd left the coral (sheep pen). Love the details in the fabric.

Ech Keli I

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“The Pamir mountains are one of the bleakest and least known corners of the world: remote, mysterious and, at one time, dubbed the third pole.” – A quote from a magnificent book: “Mountains of the Gods” by Ian Cameron. After a 3-day snow storm, a yak caravan returns to Ech Keli camp in the Afghan Pamir. Wakhan Corridor.

Gul

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Her mother was busy doing p’tok, a thick bread cooked right inside the fire. Gul knew the herd was back, she stepped out and found the goats for milking. Tea will follow. Warm summer settlement, Waramdeh Valley.

Iqbal II

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Fifteen year-old Iqbal has been married for two months. Today is the veil ceremony, where she will exchange her childhood crimson veil for a married woman’s white headdress. She struggles and cries as the older women around her get ready to fasten the white veil on her head.

Irshad

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My favorite place in the world, between states, sky and earth, defying borders. It was our second trip to Irshad pass. I went back 6 or 7 times, in snow and wind, excitement to my stomach, a fleeting vision of heaven and then we must head down into the valley.

Isortoq

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The 64 residents of the remote east Greenland village of Isortoq still hunt and fish but combine traditional Inuit foods with purchases from the supermarket, the large red building in the foreground. A favorite dish: seal dipped in ketchup and mayonnaise. In the middle of winter I lived here for 10 days, documenting the life of a hunting family.

Juma Boi II

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The last chicken: Er Ali Boi tried to breed chicken in his camp, but at 4200 meters his enterprise wasn’t a success, except for the entertainment it brought to his nephew, the young Juma Boi.

Kachura

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Mareile stands on an immersed boulder at the Kachura lake, heart of the Karakoram mountains. We lived in this village for a few months, doing volunteer teaching. Nearest phone was a 5-hour drive, all before the internet. We just soaked it in.

Kher Metek

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Entrance to the Little Pamir. Rolling hills, leftover from an ancient glacial outflow, the snow wrapping around it. Here is chocolate cream and the last thing that I can think of is ice-cream!