Stunning photos of the horsemen that work in the remote villages of Lesotho

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Photographer Thom Pierce photographed horsemen and herders in Semonkong, Lesotho.
  • Semonkong is made up of remote villages in the mountains.
  • Locals rely on horses for transportation and livestock for livelihood.

The primary mode of transportation in Semonkong, a village in the mountains of Lesotho, is horseback.

Photographer Thom Pierce spent eight days in the region, capturing the day to day lives of the horsemen and herders who live there.

Keep scrolling to see 15 of the 40 striking photos that make up his project, the Horsemen of Semonkong.

Pierce first decided to photograph the people of Semonkong while working on another project, in which he documented miners who had become sick while working in gold mines.

Thom Pierce

'In my search for the 56 miners, I travelled through Lesotho and was awestruck by the beauty of the country and the striking imagery of the horse riders and herders.'

Thom Pierce

Pierce spent the next six months planning his trip back to the area, and then spent eight days photographing the natives.

Thom Pierce

Semonkong is made up of multiple small villages located in the Drakensberg mountains.

Thom Pierce

Pierce said the villages are extremely remote, with no running water or electricity. There is usually only one basic food shop in each village.

Thom Pierce

Travel time between the villages and the town of Semonkong can be up to four hours, which is why so many locals rely on horses for transportation.

Thom Pierce

Herding is one of the most common jobs in Lesotho.

Thom Pierce

Many boys leave school as young as 12 to go work in the fields 7 days a week.

Thom Pierce

This is so prevalent that many parts of Lesotho now offer night schooling, allowing boys to herd during the day, and attend school for two hours in the evening, during which they learn basic maths and reading skills.

Thom Pierce

Pierce wanted to make sure that his subjects fully understood the nature of his project before they agreed to be involved.

Thom Pierce

He would have his translator approach them first and explain the project to them.

Thom Pierce

'Much of the time I would take a quick shot, show it to them, and they would get what I was trying to do. They would sit up a little higher, adjust their blankets, and move the horse around to give me a better photograph,' he said.

Thom Pierce

One of the horsemen Pierce photographed happened to be his translator's grandfather, something he didn't realise until the man galloped off without sharing his name.

Thom Pierce

'I walked back to Nicky (my translator) looking confused and saying that it was a shame I didn't even get his name. With a grin on her face she announced that it was fine, she knew his name, it was her grandfather.'

Thom Pierce

Although Semonkong is remote, Pierce describes the area as beautiful and home to laid-back and friendly people.

Thom Pierce

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