Moving with the Seasons: A Photography book on Mongolian Nomads

Liza F. Carter traveled five times to Mongolia over four years to document the daily life of a modern nomadic family and to photograph a way of life that is fast disappearing. Moving with the Seasons: Portrait of a Mongolian Family is a stunning book is filled with photographs and information on the lives of Mongolian nomads.   The books draws on the author’s experience with a single family to revel the unique culture of Mongolian nomads and their remarkable capacity to thrive in one of the world’s harshest environments. The family blends ancient ways of living that have survived since the time of Chinggis Khaan in AD 1200 with elements of the modern world.

The family’s willingness to share with the rest of the world the annual cycle of nomadic life on the Mongolian steppe makes for an unusually intimate portrait. Much of the information found in the test and photographs comes directly from time spent with this family, and is not available in print elsewhere. Moving with the Seasons is both timely in its appeal to the growing awareness in the West that we have a lot to learn from traditional peoples before their ways of life disappear, and timeless in its representation of the humanity of the nomadic family profiled in the book.

A reader on Amazon wrote “This is the book I would have liked to read before I went.. (to Mongolia). It’s about the people themselves, not about the experiences of a westerner observing the people. It takes you through all four seasons with a nomad family, reporting on events that befall us all, from everyday chores to special occasions, even hospitalization and death. In words, the author fills in background, but the pictures really carry the story. A wonderful account of a very special people, modern-day Mongolians.”

Buy a signed copy direct from the author:

“In an age when most travellers whiz about the globe at light speed, Liza Carter prefers a slower pace that has given her a rare and in-depth look at the fast-disappearing nomadic culture of Mongolia. Her timely book displays extraordinary passion and sensitivity for the people she meets and with a careful eye she brings her reader into the cozy felt gers that the Mongols have called home for centuries. The news cycle in Mongolia tends to focus on the country’s mining boom, evolving business culture, and political tumult in the capital, but Liza Carter instead paints a portrait of a traditional nomad family as they struggle to survive the harsh  landscape and unforgiving climate in a land once considered the greatest empire on Earth.”

Michael Kohn, Author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Mongolia


“This beautifully illustrated and well-researched story is a tribute to the life of a typical Mongolian herding family. We are given a glimpse into just how close many people live to the edge of survival. Their environment is becoming harsher with the impacts of climate change––raising the question of how much longer they can remain nomadic herders. This book is timely and important.”

Clyde E. Goulden, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Mongolian Biodiversity and Ecological Studies, Academy of Natural Sciences


“In this well-written and engaging volume, Liza Carter offers a vivid view of the Mongolian nomadic pastoral lifestyle in modern times. Readers will enjoy her descriptions of the herders’ shelter, food, customs, and beliefs. Ms. Carter portrays both the joys and difficulties the herders face in a difficult and often inhospitable environment and political landscape. Her anecdotes about the Mongolian families she visited provides the reader with insights into their demanding lifestyle.”

Morris Rossabi, Distinguished Professor of History, City University of New York. Author, Modern Mongolia and Khubilai Khan


“An illuminating look at Mongolian life… charming….even long-time visitors will find fascinating new facets of Mongolian herders’ life here.”

Christopher P. Atwood, professor of Mongolian studies at Indiana University



About Julian Dierkes

Julian Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton Univ) and a Mongolist by choice and passion since around 2005. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He toots
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