Pamiris from the Wakhan Valley travelling by truck to high-altitude pastures to manage family livestock.
An old lady laughs at her grandchildren. In spite of extreme conditions and hardships, Pamiris share a terrific sense of humor.
A Soviet-era statue of Lenin in eclipsed by a building-size portrait of Emomali Rakhmon, Tajikistan's president since the soviet collapse.
The Bartang Valley - the remotest in the Pamirs - is constantly threatened by the possibility of catastrophic flooding. Blocked by a natural dam in a 1911 earthquake, the 55-kilometer long Lake Sarez at the head of the valley is likely to reopen suddenly due to local seismicity, scientists suggest.
Having traveled hundreds of kilometers to reach a hot spring believed to have curative powers for fertility problems, two men bathe in Yamchun, on the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Once a celebrated Soviet folk singer, this elderly man in the Vanj valley demonstrates the elegant acoustics of a 'dutar' fiddle he constructed out of a tin of tea. While music has long occupied a vital role in Pamiri society, once diverse musical styles are increasingly threatened by synthizer-infused pop music.
A family dances to music performed by a father and son musician team on home-made musicians particular to the Vanj valley.
A Buddhist stupa dating back to the 12th century in the Wakhan valley, perched on the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan (left). Before the introduction of Islam, much of the region, including present day Tajikistan, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, was Buddhist. The top rock on the stupa is said to contain the footprint of the Buddha.
Demarcated in the Soviet period, the Chinese border with Tajikistan runs through remote areas of the Pamir mountains, dividing ethnicities and ancient trade routes.
A Soviet mannequin of a border soldier guards the remote Chinese-Tajik border area.
The yurt of a Kyrgyz herder under a starry sky near Bozai Gumbaz, in the eastern Pamirs.
Daily life in the Zhol-birluk (Wolf's road) pasture area near Rangkul, Eastern Pamirs.
The high-altitude plateaus of the eastern Pamirs may seem remote. But since the opening of the Kulma pass directly into Xinjiang in 2004, China has rapidly been making inroads into Tajikistan through road construction and aggressive imports.
A Kyrgyz family in the eastern Pamirs. Throughout the Pamirs, breadwinners often leave to Russia and elsewhere to work on construction sites and send vital remittances from abroad.
A schoolboy collecting a dense wormwood for stove-fires. With lower hill-sides long since denuded, villagers are having to search farther for fuel. Resultant landslides have increased in frequency, in extreme cases engulfing entire villages.
An grandfather looks at pictures of his 8 children, all of whom have left to Russia in search of work. (left)
Pamiri girls look across the Wakhan valley, which demarcates the border of Afghanistan. Families are often split by migrant Pamiris that for various reasons (of divorce, sickness or sudden death) fail to return.
Murghab - the only city in the sparsely-populated eastern Pamirs. The area is dominated by Sunni Muslim Turkic-speaking Kyrgyz, as opposed to the Ismaili Shia Persian Pamirs.
As a stranger, the first things you will often hear, even before standard greetings or name exchanges, is: "Come to my house and drink tea." To Pamiris, this is hardly ironic - a harsh environment breeds an open hospitality.
A shepherd taking a shortcut through a Silk-road era fort (5th century AD) in the Wakhan Valley that sits on the border with Afghanistan.
Along with a matching range of languages (over 7), ethnic diversity in the Pamirs is compounded by the region's dense mountains. Above, an ethnic Tajik from the Yazgulom valley. Many Yazgulomis account for their looks as genetically related to Alexander the Great, who allegedly passed through the region on his conquests and is buried at the remote head of the valley.
Young Kyrgyz in Murghab practice ballroom dancing for an Independence day celebration.
The M41 - the only asphalt highway in Gorno-Badakhshan - is known as the second-highest paved road in the world, albeit frequently plagued with landslides, avalanches, floods and Chinese trucks importing goods from Xinjiang.