The Nomad's Home

The nomad's home is called a ger. Because a nomad must travel a lot to make sure his animals have good land to feed on, the nomads home must be portable. The ger can be taken down and loaded onto a camel in one hour. It can also be set up in an hour. The home is made up of many components. Many gers, though not all, have a wooden floor. In the middle of this floor is a metal stove, which is used to cook on and heat the ger during cold months. (In the area that we visited, there were not many trees. So, instead of firewood, the nomads use dried yak dung as fuel.) The walls are made of sections of crisscrossed wood, which moves like an accordian, much like the gates used in America to block babies from going into areas that may be dangerous. About 80 wooden poles are angled between the top of the walls and the huge ring in the center of the ceiling. This forms a roof that is cone shaped. Once the wooden structure is set up, sheets of decorative cotton or other fabric is placed over the walls from outside. Then thick felt, made out of pressed animal fur, is tied over the walls and poles. Canvas, or other cotton, is laid down next, followed by more felt, and more canvas. If the fires are kept hot, the gers can be extremely warm during the coldest months.