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History of the traditional Yurt

Mongolian Yurt Design

The Mongolian yurt design is based on a series of complex wooden lattice structures. The felt used for the roof would have been made using wool from the nomad’s personal flock of sheep. The lattice is just the beginning of this genius design. Each yurt has a door-frame, roof poles and a crown. Some yurts have one or more columns to support the crown.

The crown is central not only to the yurt, but to the tradition of yurts. While the yurt itself is repaired over time and possibly replaced completely, the crown remains intact. Upon a father’s death, the crown of his yurt would be passed to his son. A family’s length of heritage can be measured by the accumulation of stains caused by the smoke passing through the yurt crown.

Bigger on the inside than outside

Yurts are designed to be quickly dismantled and transported by either camel or yak, then quickly erected in another location. It is estimated that a single yurt can be dismantled within one hour and it takes approximately six camels to carry a family’s entire possessions to another place. Upon marriage, families will take the responsibility of building the newlyweds their own yurt to begin their life together. The yurt is considered to be the herder’s most important possession.

From the outside they may look small, but do not be deceived. They can easily accommodate six people sleeping! A yurt is traditionally heated using a small wood stove, although wood is not always easy to come by in certain parts of Asia, so they use animal dung. You will be pleased to know that here at Caalm Camp we have opted for wood to heat ours!