Photo of the Day

a Kyrgyz girl milking her family’s yak in the Pamir Mountains, northern Afghanistan
September 12, 2014

Key to Survival

The Kyrgyz of the Pamir Mountains in northern Afghanistan live at a high altitude where no crops grow. Survival depends on the animals that they milk, butcher, and barter.

Here, 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.

See more pictures from the September 2014 feature story “The Evolution of Diet.”

Follow Matthieu Paley's visual food journals on our photography blog, Proof »

See more of National Geographic’s coverage on the Future of Food »

Photograph by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

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