Modern Nomads

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This time NomadicHype brings you to country which has enormous history, beautiful landscapes and of course 21th century modern nomads.

 

Despite the draw of the city, hundreds of thousands of Mongolians continue to preserve a way of life that goes back at least a millennium. These modern nomadic families still drive their herds across the vast steppes of what is the world’s most sparsely populated country after Greenland. The herds live off the land, and the nomads live off the milk and meat of their animals.

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How do mongolian live?

Mongolian family life centers around the ger. These large, portable tents made of felt, plastic tarps, and ornate wooden slats protect nomadic families from some of the coldest temperatures on the planet.

They are about ten meters in diameter, and each contains a small kitchen (consisting of a sink and maybe an electric burner), beds along the sides, a shrine to ancestors or holy figures, and a fireplace in the center. Smoke produced by the fire escapes through a hole in the center of the roof. When it rains, the water splashes inside until the family pulls a tarp across the ger for protection.

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How do they move?

Mongolians are master horse riders. Many families own large herds of horses that roam the fenceless steppe, and fermented mare’s milk, which the Mongolians call airag, is a popular drink. Traditionally, the nomads’ skill on horseback has been essential for guarding their herds and driving them to pasture.

Though these days herders sometimes round up their animals from the seat of a motorbike,  modern nomadic Mongolians still prize horse riding as both a practical necessity and profound connection to their ancestors and communities.

 

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