There are many place in the world where to enjoy exotic cultures, but very few place on earth where you can experience a genuine time-travel. The Little Pamir in northeastern Afghanistan is one of those few places. The reason why is to be found in it's remoteness: it takes two days of four-wheel-drive to get to the end of the Wakhan valley and from there it's a minimum of 60 km of difficult trails and mountain passes just to reach the very first Kyrgyz village.
The Kyrgyz of Afghanistan are a semi-nomadic population of herders that lives all year long in the most remote corner of the country, bounded by three of the highest mountain ranges in the world: the Pamirs, the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush. On the way to this place we also had the chance to witness the lifestyle of another population of this part of Central Asia: the Wakhis.
Centuries after the exodus from their original homeland (being dislocated by Uyghurs and Mongols in medieval times) the Kyrgyz found a permanent refugee in the Pamirs - but only a part of them is still living in Afghanistan. In the early 2000 - according to their King - there were about 1300 Kyrgyz living in the Afghan Pamirs; the rest of their folk was already living a sedentary existence in communities in Turkey, China and Kirghizistan.
In a way, the Kyrgyz of the Afghan Pamir traded a more comfortable life in the lowlands for the freedom of the mountains, where they can live a pure nomadic lifestyle as their ancestors always did (they are not even subject to taxes or censuses due to their remoteness from civilization).
The tribes that lives in the Little Pamir might be the last keepers of an ancient medieval lifestyle that have survived through the centuries, and that is the main reason of our journey here. From Sarhad-e-Brogil, the last Wakhi village in the Wakhan Corridor, we travelled a total of 310 km, most of them by walk (only about sixty kilometers on horseback). We reached the end of the Little Pamir, near the Chinese border, and we were back to Sarhad after twentyfour days.
All the photos were shot with Sony α5100 and α6300. The lenses I used were a Sigma 60mm 2.8 and 16mm 1.4, plus the standard kit zoom. Most of the portraits were shot with the stealth "silent shutter mode" of the α6300.