Prints

fine art prints by National Geographic photographer Matthieu Paley

Showing 1–32 of 109 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.

Ajar


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Ajar’s family are all blue-eyed. I was always amazed to feel a familiarity in people’s faces amongst Wakhi people, who live in the Pamir mountains, right next to the border with China. I find it 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!).

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.

Amur Turchin


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Thirteen year old Amur Turchin rides home. We were staying with his parents in a yurt. In Mongolia, they say children often ride horses before they can walk. Zavkhan Province

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.

Azra


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Green-eyed Gul returning from school. Wakhi girls are privileged in the sense that getting education is a priority among this Ismaili community. The Aga Khan, their spiritual leader says the following: “If you have 2 children, a boy and a girl, but not enough money to educate both kids: give education in priority to the girl – as a future mother, the girl will be the one later educating your grand children…” Sarhad Village, Wakhan Corridor.

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.

Burundo


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Women often wear several watches.

“I was given a watch for my wedding – it broke. Then my mother in law gave me a new one, so now I have two on my wrist”, says Rosman’s wife.

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.

Chaqmaqtin


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Near the frozen Chaqmaqtin lake, a herd of yak grazes below the Pamir mountains. Incredibly adaptable animals, they push snow with their hooves to feed on the wintery brown grass.

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.