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Feature - Last of the First Skiers
Jonas Bendiksen
In the far northern corner of Xinjiang province, in the Altai mountains, one can find the last remnants of an ancient culture. The area is populated by a mix of ethnic Kazakhs, Mongolians and Tuwas, who handmake their own wooden skis in the same way as their forefathers thousands of years ago. Archeological finds indicate that this region might possibly be the origin of skiing, with a ski history that surpasses northern European countries.

For thousands of years, the skis have been used to hunt elk, bear and other animals, and only a few skiers still know these ancient winter hunting skills....

Jonas Bendiksen 2013

CHINA. 2013. Xinjiang. Traditional skier blasting throw deep...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Hamlet of Akorum. Tursin...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Boidai village. In local...
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CHINA. 2013. Xinjiang. Ashatu helping Tursin make holes in the...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai mountains, Xinjiang. Hkom, a small village...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Mulchin and Udur skiing...
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CHINA. Altai Mountains. 2013. Xinjiang. Hamlet of Kathenghar....
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Ashatu carrying a heavy...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. The traditional skiers...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Serik's wife calls in...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Batwulza using the horse-hide...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Batwulza flying down...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Batwulza flying down...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Tursin and his friends...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Serik using his skis...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Hamlet of Kathenghar....
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Hamlet of Akorum. Tursin...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Outside the vilalge of...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Jingsbek and Mungkebati,...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Tuktun (77), who has...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Tursin and his friends...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Tursin and his friends...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Batwulza chopping firewood...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. In the hamlet of Akorum,...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai mountains, Xinjiang. In the hamlet of Akorum,...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai mountains, Xinjiang. Tursin, his son Eneral,...
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Jonas Bendiksen 2013

CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. In the hamlet of Akorum,...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai mountains, Xinjiang. Ashatu readies a piece...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Kanas, a small village...
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Jonas Bendiksen 2013

CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Kanas, a small village...
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Jonas Bendiksen 2013

CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. In local tradition the...
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Jonas Bendiksen 2013

CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Boidai village. In local...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai mountains, Xinjiang. A man trying to get his...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Hamlet of Akorum. In...
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CHINA. 2013. Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Traditional skier charging...
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CHINA. 2013. Burqin. At the Burqin Museum, petroglyphs of a skier...
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