App | Old Version | 中文 |
HOME >> NEWS >> PHOTOS

Ethnic Tajik life through the lens of a soldier

Cui Jia
Updated: Dec 24,2014 3:07 PM     chinadaily.com.cn

Tajik herdsmen ride yaks to catch a goat at a traditional yak racing event on March 20, 2008. [Photo by Wang Lie / chinadaily.com.cn]

Wang Lie enjoys his dual identities, that of a People’s Liberation Army soldier and a photographer.

The 37-year-old political instructor of a battalion is now doing his duty in Tashkurgan, China’s only Tajik autonomous county in Xinjiang’s Kashgar prefecture.

During his 18 years of service on the Pamir Plateau, the amateur photographer has been recording the daily life of the Tajik people who reside in the sparsely populated mountainous areas.

This series of photos focuses on their outdoor life.

Tajik people treat their livestock like family members. Kicking or beating livestock is prohibited.

Meat, dairy products like yogurt and naan (a baked round flatbread) are staples for the Tajiks who believe those who step on salt or grains are sinners.

The Tajiks are the only Caucasian people in China, physically resembling Europeans. The Tajik men also called themselves “sons of the sun”.

Tajik males spend most of their time in the deep mountains herding sheep and yaks, leaving their wives and children behind.

A Tajik man can show his adoration toward a woman during the yak/horse races and goat catching events.

The man, if he is fortunate enough to win the event, will march around the competition area with his booty in hand and present it to the woman he loves in front of the spectators.

Tajik herdsmen ride horses at a goat catching racing event in this photo taken on March 28, 2014.[Photo by Wang Lie / chinadaily.com.cn]

Two Tajik women milk a cow, June 21, 2013. The milk from cows and sheep are daily necessities for the Tajik ethnic group. [Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik woman feeds a flock of sheep, March 28, 2009. Sheep are one of the main economic resources for a Tajik family.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

Two young yaks are tethered to posts on the ground, June 15, 2012 photo. Yaks are one of the main economic resources for a Tajik family.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik woman sun-dries sheep and cow dung, June 23, 2013. The dung will become the fuel source for Tajik to light a stove.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik woman sun-dries sheep and cow dung, Nov 26, 2014. The dung will become the fuel source for Tajik to light a stove.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik woman herds sheep in snow. [Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik herdsman carries a sheep in snow.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik herdsman rides a donkey and leads a camel in snow. [Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik herdsman braces the cold weather on his journey home with two camels.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik man’s wife and daughters see him off as he prepares to herd sheep.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik man herds sheep at the foot of a snowy mountain. [Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

Three Tajik women gather water from a frozen river. [Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A child helps her parents gather water in a frozen river.[Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

Winners show-off the goat they caught during a yak racing event, July 24, 2014. [Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Tajik boy kisses a dog, which is usually the best friend of Tajik children. [Photo by Wang Lie/chinadaily.com.cn]

VIDEOS