Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Mongolia. Land of the Deer Stone. Photographs by Elaine Ling. Foreword by Alison Devine. Lodima Press, Ottsville, 2009. 180 pp., 148 illustrations, 13x11½".

"During the thirteenth century, Mongol warriors under their legendary leader Chinggis Khan established a vast Eurasian empire through great wars of conquest. Some seven hundred years later their descendents still inhabit the high plains, deserts, and mountains that make up the Alaska-sized country that is contemporary Mongolia.

While almost a million people live in the capital Ulaanbaatar, many other Mongolians choose to maintain the ancient nomadic traditions of their ancestors. For them, home is a felt tent, and the most treasured possession is a really good horse.

From 2002 through 2008, the exuberant desert traveler and photographer Elaine Ling made five trips to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert to find and photograph the Deer Stones, Turkic Stones, and the shamanistic stone markers called ovoos, that are scattered across Mongolia’s desert vastness.

Her photographs and writing about the land and the nomads who live there tell the story of a desert world where shamans still converse with spirits and where ancient forms of Buddhism are enjoying a resurgence after years of Soviet suppression. Mongolia is truly a land of mystery and magic.

Accompanying Elaine Ling’s superb photographs and engaging essays are a Foreword by Dr. Alison Devine Nordstrom, George Eastman House Curator of Photographs, scholarly essays about the Mongolian nomads and about the Deer Stones by Dr. William W. Fitzhugh, Director of the Arctic Study Center, Smithsonian Institution, and an essay on the history and revival of Buddhism in Mongolia by Thubten Konchog Norbu, Director of the Kunzang Palyal Choling Temple’s Mongolian Buddhist Revival Project."

There is also a limited edition of 'Mongolia' available, which includes a print and comes in a French-fold dust jacket. The photographs, "made from 4x5-inch Polaroid negatives are printed in Belgium by Salto on heavy cover stock in 600-line screen quadtone with exceptional fidelity to the original prints."

Quotes from publisher's description.

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