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Life on the Move

Like nomads the world over, Mongolian herders must follow their livestock to new feeding grounds and watering holes. Some months, in fact, Mongolian nomads may pull up stakes every few days.

To make life on the run easier, Mongolian herders have developed a remarkable wood and wool house that can be taken apart and moved on horseback — in just a few hours!

A ger, as the round felt tents are known, are cool in summer, warm in winter, windproof, and can be beautifully decorated, as NATURE’s Wild Horses of Mongolia shows. But they are built from just a few basic elements:

Curved Lattice Walls
Criss-crossed strips of wood collapse like a baby gate for easy moving, but are rugged when standing.

Toghana (roof ring) and Uni (poles)
A wooden hoop that rests on top of the walls and poles arranged like spokes to hold the vaulted roof.

Isegei (felt)
Large sheets of wool are wrapped around the walls and over the roof, held down by rope. Multiple layers are added during cold weather.

Wooden doors are often brightly decorated and carry special spiritual significance. It is considered offensive to step on the door’s threshhold.



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