Photograph by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic
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.”