Limited Edition of 30

fine art prints by National Geographic photographer Matthieu Paley

Showing 1–32 of 35 results

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.

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.

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.

Buzkachi I


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I climbed up a hill, and then up a small tree and stood there, waiting  for the horses to come. That day, riders gathered on a snowy plain to play Buzkachi, a raw and ancient Central Asian horse game played since the days of Ghengis Khan. Tajikistan.

Gul Dista


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We arrived at night, guessing our way up a steep hill. There was a house but no light; we called out. Darvish eventually arrived, he remembered me from 12 years ago! He gave hay to our donkeys and invited us inside. We sat next to the fire. Gul Dista, his daughter-in-law, was drying her hair in front of the open hearth, quiet moment like many others. Summer 2017.

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.

Qach Baig


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That light in Wakhi homes, it’s a gift. Large central opening on the roof, no windows, dark backdrop of soot, years of making open fire…and the ladies having a tea break in the middle of winter.

Samarkand

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Samarkand cleans the house of evil spirits by putting grains of spandr on top of hot amber. Spandr (in Wakhi language) is a local mountain herb called esfand in English. Its seeds have seen continual use for thousands of years in the rites of many cultures. All over the remote mountain world, from Buddhists temples to Sufi shrines, I have witnessed rituals associated with similar plants like the burning of Juniper started long ago by shamans of Siberia and American Indians.

Sarhad

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In the morning, women gather to get water. Even in winter, it never freezes thanks to underground thermal activities. In the distance, that pass leads towards the Karakoram. On the left, over the frozen Wakhan river up into the Pamir mountains, the roof of the world.

Sarhad Scree


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I had never seen such a huge scree. Down below, horsemen made their way to a wedding. This is the Wakhan Corridor, an old branch of the Silk Road and Alexander the Great and Marco Polo probably looked up this mountain when they passed here in ancient times.

Sayeed


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Sayeed Sardar was cold, he lifted his coat. The brother of the spiritual leader, he is a well respected and smart man. He remembered my name, but I had forgotten his, felt ashamed, he laughed! I had bought a donkey from his cousin 3 years earlier.

Sherk

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Hot springs are precious… what a gift to have hot water year round. Ato Mohammed and his dad, shortly before walking back home down the valley to their village. Looking at their faces, it’s fascinating to consider the implications on human migration. Think of our history, of all the ancient paths that have been taken to reach every corner of the earth, all the drama and excitement that must have taken place (and still is taking place).

Woolio


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It was the night before we climbed Woolio-e Sar, an unclimbed 6000m peak in the Karakoram in Pakistan near the border with China. We bivouacked right here below a huge boulder high above  the Shimshal Pamir. Me and my friend Bruno woke up at 4am and found our way up.