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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

06.04.2018

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"I travelled to Bhutan after reading some fascinating facts about this mountainous country. During our expedition to the remote settlement of Laya, I had the privilege of staying with a local yak-herding family. One day we took off to their summer camp on the Masanggang mountain, at around 4,500 m above sea level. This is where they keep some 40 yaks – 20 of which are males – for several months.

When we first arrived, all I could see were female yaks, which are similar in size to European cows. It was not until the evening that the fifty-year-old yak herder, Tshering, rounded up all the male yaks. Their sight took my breath away because these creatures seemed like they had just arrived from another planet. There was very heavy rainfall, and they were running to our camp from all possible corners of the mountain. Tshering told me to stay out of the way and be very careful with my movements.

I was told that Tshering was about to perform a monthly ritual with all the male yaks, whereby he pushes them to the ground and then pours salt into their throats. The practice is thought to keep their bodies strong and Tshering takes it very seriously. It may look cruel and harsh but in reality, he and the yaks were dancing in the rain! This photo moves beyond a purely documentary moment, and hopefully conveys something almost mythical."

See further images of Ciril Jazbec in the new issue of LFI.
© Ciril Jazbec

Ciril Jazbec

Born in Slovenia in 1987, Jazbec began in com- mercial photography before turning to photo journalism, documenting primarily the effects of climate change, and the societal interplay between tradition and modernism. He was the winner of the 2013 Leica Oskar Barnack Newco- mer Award, endowed with a Leica M.

www.ciriljazbec.com
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