On the vast plateau of Mongolian Highland, cold wind from Siberia blows across the Gobi desert and grasslands, while many big white tents are standing in the harsh winter. They are the Mongolian yurts.
The Mongolian yurt is the traditional dwelling of the nomads in northwest China of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, as well as in the neighboring countries, over to as far as in Turkey.
The yurt is round felt tent built using a wooden, accordion frame. The emergence of Mongolian yurts is closely related to their nomadic lifestyle. Mongolians always move about to seek new water sources and pastures and the Mongolian yurt can meet their requirements. Thus, yurts are designed to be easily taken down, made compact for carrying, and reassembled. Despite this portability, they are warm enough to keep the coldest winter temperatures at bay and strong enough to withstand strong winds and the demands of a whole family.
How to Build
The Mongolian yurt is usually set up in the place where it is suitable for grazing. People always draw a suitable circle at first. And then begin to set up the yurt according to the circle. Three to four layers of felt are placed on the frame, with the felt traditionally made from sheep’s wool, and an outer layer of waterproof canvas. The felt and canvas are secured to the wooden frame and the resulting structure can stand securely in one place for months or even years at a time.
When it is finished, people decorate the inner of yurt with flowers, carpet or mirrors. Nowadays, there are furniture and household appliances in Mongolian yurt, which make people’s life more comfortable.
In recent decades, some Mongolians in China gradually start to abandon their unstable life style as nomads. They build permanent residential places and form villages, towns and cities. So they start to use bricks and concrete to build yurts.
Mongolian yurts are attracting interest from people in many parts of the world as an ecologically friendly and attractive living space that can be used for a variety of purposes.