Walking away from the steppes

Members of nomadic tribes in Inner Mongolia are rapidly shifting from traditional herding life to the realities of a modern China. Lured by the promise of material comfort and education for their children, in some cases whole families migrate together, facing long journeys and language difficulties which put a heavy emotional strain on the child and the family. Photographer A Yin who lives in Ujimiqin, a vast area in a Chinese controlled region near the border with the independent country of Mongolia, has documented the lifestyle of nomadic tribes for the last 20 years. In this series of images taken only a few years apart, first in their native lands and then in their new urban reality, A Yin depicts a poignant chronicle of the vanishing nomadic culture of Inner Mongolia.