Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Home Sweet Home

The typical home for Mongolians is a ger. They can be constructed and taken down rather quickly, and easily transported making them perfect for nomadic life. The felt keeps the ger cool in the summer months and warm in the brutal, cold winters.

Inside the ger you will find an alter, beds, stove/heater, storage cabinets, storage area for riding and hunting gear, barrels for mare's milk and a small table and chairs. The door, toono and uni are beautifully painted with delicate designs in bright colors.

Here is a brief outline on how to build a ger:

1. Find a clean flat, rock free surface

2. Lay out the fabric and felt

3. Put together the toono, which is the center support and creates the upper smoke outlet and sky light

4. Set up the hana or the folding/lattice walls

5. Attach the door to the hana (always facing south)
6. Raise the toono

7. Attached the uni, or wooden sticks that extend from the toono to the top of the lattice walls. Tie them in place using horse hair.

8. Place fabric over the entire structure.
9. Wrap the tuurga or felt around the entire structure
10. Place a canvas fabric on top of the felt.
11. Tie the canvas down using rope.
12. Install wood or vinyl flooring
12. Install the stove with pipe in the middle of the ger so that the pipe extends out the sky light
13. Install furnishings

They say "Home is where the heart is" and this holds very true to Mongolians.



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