Bökh Wrestlers of Mongolia

Bökh wrestlers moss and fog cover

Using a stunning Phase One camera to capture medium-format images, Ken Hermann explores the ritual of wrestling in rural Mongolia. The sport of wrestling is deeply steeped in culture and tradition, as evidenced by Hermann and his subjects.  The gentle, endless expanse of Mongolian grasslands provides a beautiful backdrop for the colorful wrestlers, looking stoic and proud. The medium-format images capture the movement and motion of the wrestlers, including some epic lifts and flips. A wonderful series that is smart, unusual, beautiful and educational all at once. Via Behance:

When a boy is born in Inner Mongolia, his family pray for him to become a wrestler. This ancient tradition is the cornerstone of Mongolian culture dating back centuries to Genghis Khan’s reign when he used it to keep his soldiers battle-ready. Khan famously compared wrestling to war, explaining that in both you face enemies who are stronger and more powerful than you, and you must attack. It’s a sentiment these young wrestlers keep very much in mind.

Traditional wrestlers on the grasslands of rural MongoliaTraditional wrestlers on the grasslands of rural MongoliaTraditional wrestlers on the grasslands of rural MongoliaBökh wrestlers moss and fog 6Bökh wrestlers moss and fog 5Traditional wrestlers on the grasslands of rural MongoliaBökh wrestlers moss and fog 3

Traditional wrestlers on the grasslands of rural Mongolia

We love the colorful scarves and embroidered pants of the wrestlers.

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