• .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

Yurt Development

The Mongolian yurt has passed through many different stages during its development process. It has been improved by people with various intellectual levels over many generations beginning with the wooden dwelling built by ancient man. Even in the rock paintings left by ancient men in Mongolia, early dwelling evolution can be seen.

During ancient times when people painted dwellings, animals and things in their life on the rock, they pictured the object so closely to reality that anyone could recognize it. For example, when painting an animal, they carved it with as few movements as possible. Such pieces of painting are considered to be very ancient. The paintings of these ancient peoples evolved from just strictly animal to more design oriented and artistic paintings. These decorative patterns are the main type of art that decorates a Mongolian yurt.

The instruments used for hunting by ancient barbarians were further developed to working tools necessary for daily life. The working tools were improved as the intellect of the barbarians developed. Thus, people living in holes, caves and awnings started to change their living circumstances. Aside from just hunting, people started to domesticate animals. The dog and sheep are considered to have been the first domesticated animals. Afterwards, more familiar livestock such as horses, cows and camels were domesticated. The need to feed and raise the livestock led to the people to continually search for good pastureland. People began to use a hut that was easily put up and disassembled. This was the main basis for the origination of the Mongolian yurt. The yurt has passed through centuries of development until it found its current form and structure.

The great conqueror Genghis Khan’s campaigns were accompanied by yurt camps. In the medieval centuries, Mongolian yurts were put up on carts and drawn by cows or camel fully assembled. These “yurt-carts” of the Mongolians were of various sizes and the number of animals needed to pull it depended on its size. The size of the yurt was dependent on the owner’s social status, position and wealth. The famous traveler Marco Polo wrote in his book, “Mongolian yurts are round and covered with felt. They are light and movable. Mongolians always move around carrying their yurts. They always set the door of the yurt facing south.”

XII-XV Centuries
In 12th century Mongol, Turk and Hamnigan nations had settled throughout the extensive territory of Central Asia. Nomadic livestock herding was dominating among Mongolian tribes of that time and was developing rapidly. Mongolian nomadic livestock had many advantages in terms of numbers and its productivities. Mongolian tribes were also developing many types of handicrafts. The Mongols of 12th to 15th century used to name Yurt by different words based on its type, shape and features of felt cover. Those names were written at “Secret history of Mongols” and “Sutra of Yuan”. Those names were used to name Yurt: Ebesun nebule yurt, Chorkhan yurt, Yurt tergen,Ordo yurt, Altan terme, Urgutei yurt, Shiltesutei yurt, Gerlug, Burhasun yurt etc.

Each of them has their own special characteristics. Those residences were generally classified as permanent and temporary residence. The residences which were being used by Mongolian tribes in 13th century were the residences inherited from ancient nomadic tribes that had been existed and exterminated on Mongolian land. Thus the Yurt is one of crucial elements to study and identify the settlement, lifestyle, transitional movements, economy and social relations. On the other side it is also a factor to clarify evolution process of how nomadic livestock herding and peoples life styles developed side by side. For example: It is possible to clarify productivity of public productions by studying the changes occurred to felt covers such as ebusen embule Yurt, alachuha and khoshlig.

In other words an ebusen embule Yurt shows that public manufacturing was in a low level at that time. But khoslig Yurt proves that public production had developed and people began to make fabric and felt out of wool. If we look into the changes of its structure, it tells us that Mongol Yurt transferred from semi nomadic lifestyle into semi urbanized society. The Yurt that had been used by 13th century is called a Yurt with collar toono. Afghanistan’s Khazara and some Mongolians are using such Yurt today. Another evidence of such Yurt really had existed is a Yurt at the Shrine of Chingis in Van province of Inner Mongolia.

The Yurt with collar toono had been called Chorkhan in XIII century. But it slowly lost that name and got a new name Tsomt-sog. Apparently it had some connections with suffix “khan”. In the middle ages, the Mongolians had called cart a khnkhai. Castle of the chess is called a khankhai too. The word khankhai is pronounced khangkha, khangli in ancient Turkish language and khangkhai in Tsagaadai accent. They all mean a cart. So the word chorkhan means a Yurt cart.

The structure and measurements of Mongol Yurt widely used till 13lh century is:
- Heights of wall-180 cm
- Length of uni- 288cm
- Diameter of toono- 212 cm
- Height of pillar from ground to toono- 4,8 m
- Diameter of circles of walls- 8,18m
At the end, different social classes began to use Yurt with different shapes, sizes and decorations. This tradition had affected the rapid development of more advanced Yurt types.
XVI-XX Centuries
At the end of 19th century the yellow stream of Buddhist religion began to spread in Mongolia. Since the fall of Yuan state in 1368, conflict between Mongolian feudalists intensified and by the second half of 15lh century that conflict began to harm Mongolian economy. Especially the newly born high priests and lamas of yellow stream took powers in a relatively short period of time in Mongolia. This was the main reason of deep new superstition and religious confusion among Mongolian people. Many advances were made to Mongolian cultural and education¬al developments thanks to new propagations of ancient Chinese an Indian cultural influence. At that time Mongolians began to use more logical methods to mix the ingredients of gold, silver, copper, brass, lead, tin, morass, lime, ocher, and paints. Furthermore, Mongolian craftsmen started creating shapes of Buddhist gods out of metals such as copper, brass and bronze. We can not deny that the new spread of yellow stream religion showed positive effects to Mongolian society.

On the contrary it also showed harmful effects to thousands of years old Mongolian nomadic tradition. The size, shape and structure of Mongol Yurt were being caused by its walls and toono. And the families of different social classes had used Yurt that have different sizes and structures. For example, simple herdsman who had used Yurt with 4 walls began to use Yurt with 5 walls since the beginning of 20th century. Wealthy families from 16th to the beginning of 20th century had used Yurt with 6 to 8 walls. But the Yurt with 12 walls was being used only by kings and lords of khos-hun (military administrative unit under the Manchu rule). Since 16th century, the Yurt of aristocrats and administrative office of khoshuns are called Bat-ulzii Yurt, Arvan bayanii Yurt, Dayan Yurt and the Yurt of religious staffs and gods are called Buyanii yurt and Shar busiin urguu. In the traditional literature large Yurt is called “Dalai tavan hanatai dalai tsagaan ger” (Yurt, big like ocean and has 5 walls). It was easy to know who lived in which Yurt by the material, floor, pillar and decorations.

The Yurt of aristocrats is decorated with ornaments such as dragons and other animals, and big tents over it to protect from direct sunlight and precipitation. On the other hand Urguu Yurt (very large Yurt) was originated in the result of Mongolian feudalists actively supported the spread of yellow stream. Some aristocrats of that time exceeded their authorities and changed Yurt structures to adjust the religious ceremonies. One ex¬ample of such attempt is a Palace Yurt of King Abtai. Russian re¬searcher A Pozdneev wrote about it that “simple Yurt looks like a toy beside that Yurt and 3 hundred people can seat together in Palace Yurt of King Abtai”. Probably it was an attempt to adjust Yurt for the reli¬gious ceremonies so that many people can be involved in it together. That Yurt had been used for religious purposes from the beginning of 17th century till the end of 19th century and not any structural changes were made to it during that period.

Since 17th century, the Mongolians began to use the shape of Yurt to build religious temples and monasteries and later it became the classical architecture of whole nation. After the King Abtai, Zanaba-zar who is well known by the name of High Priest were chosen as a leader of Mongolian religion in 1639 and built a city near the Lake Shiree Tsagaan and named it ‘Urguu’ That’s because many large Yurt of teachers and lamas for Zanabazar were erected in organized ways. Religious meaning of the word “urguu” is a Yurt for main praying. ln the book “The secret history of Mongols” there are 2 compound words were used to name Yurt. They are “urgutei yurt” and “irgetei yurt”. The linguists explain that “urgutei yurt” is e Yurt of main worship; “irgetei yurt” is a Yurt wit urkh (piece of felt that is used for covering the toono).

All nomadic tribes had followed the ancestral rules and erect the Yurt of worship and their leaders in the middle of other Yurt when they camp. In 13th century, the God placed in the Yurt of tribal leaders was revered most and the people of that tribe worshipped it. That’s why two different names were used to distinguish differences between the Yurt of leader and Yurt of worship. That tradition had been inherited for hundreds of years. 1667 the big religious service was held not far from today’s Bulgan city. That service was organized by Baatar Beil (feudal title) and was held in his Yurt. In general Mongolian feudal of XVI-XX century was trying to make their Yurt worship Yurt of khoshun in order to spread yellow stream of Buddhist religion throughout Mongolia.

Поделиться в соц. сетях

Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus
Share to LiveJournal
Share to MyWorld
Share to Odnoklassniki
468x60 ad code [Article page - Between comment and article]

2 Responses for “Yurt Development”

  1. Sukhee says:

    Hello everybody who would like to travel in Mongolia and who wants to see real Mongolia visit this website…Thank you.

  2. While we’re on the subject of Yurt Development | Mongolia Travel Guide, The main purpose of the web designing is to create a web site. Web site interprets the information about particular topic and website design is creation and arrangement of web pages that can be done by web development that includes but not limited to; Web Development, eCommerce, CMS, Content Management System, shopping Cart, Business Website Design, Flash Website design, business development.

Leave a Reply

Free WordPress Themes