Inner mongolian Wrestlers. Bökh. July 2016. Shot in the Grasslands on Inner Mongolia, an area of Northern China that has a strong Mongolian population. The Grasslands are vast open spaces that run from the mountains of Inner Mongolia to the border of Outer Mongolia and have been home to nomadic communities for centuries.
When a boy is born in Inner Mongolia, his family pray for him to become a wrestler. This ancient tradition is still a key status symbol in the nomadic community and the central focus of many young men’s lives. We were interested in this lesser known form of wrestling only found and practiced by a small group of men in Inner Mongolia. The strong cultural heritage and ritual of the sport intrigued us. We were particularly interested in how it governed status for young men within the community as well as defining manliness.