Sagsai and Altantsogts
Theses sparse settlements are the home towns of the regions most famous Kazakh eagle hunters and sites of Mongolia's two annual eagle festivals.
Sagsai is 20km west of Ulgii and home to a large number of eagle hunters who use golden eagles to hunt foxes and hares in winter. This soum (district) is host to the Altai Kazakh Eagle Festival on the third weekend of September, celebrating its heritage.
Altantsogts is 45km east of Ulgii. As with most of western Mongolia, Altantsogts is the homeland of ethnic Kazakhs. The Kazakhs are a semi-nomadic, pastoral people. Many families move several times a year with their herds between fixed seasonal settlements. Others with smaller herds stay closer to their winter home during the summer but will nevertheless set up a yurt (kiiz yi, meaning ‘felt house’). The summertime yurt (and to a lesser extent the winter house) is richly furnished with embroidered, felt and woven textiles.