How Mongolian Yurts Are Made
Mongolian Yurts – The #1 Choice for True Yurt Enhusiasts
You’ll find essentially two kinds of yurts on the North American market nowadays:
Modern yurts and traditional yurts.
At Groovy Yurts, we’re all about authentic yurts, made in Mongolia. Mongolian yurts are not only made to be sturdy in the great tradition of the Mongolian people, these yurts are made with love, care and respect.
Want to know more about how yurts are made in Mongolia? You’ve come to the right place! On this page we’ll cover the specific process by which Mongolian yurts are made, including the materials used (still respecting and following the Mongolian tradition) and some of steps involved in the creation.
Having said that, some essential maintenance and precaution is necessary to ensure that your yurt is ready for winter and will hold up well as the storms and extreme temperatures run their course.
In this edition of the Groovy Yurts Blog, we’ll show you some winter tips for yurt living.
A Time-Honoured Tradition of Mongolian Yurt Manufacturing
Yurts have served as the traditional family home and housing structure in Mongolia for millennia.
Over time there has been the occasional improvement or innovation, but at its essence the Mongolian yurt you’ll experience today is very similar to the yurts used by Mongolian people in the nomadic steppes of Central Asia going back a millennium or more.
Because yurts are, quite simply put, one of the best residential structures ever created. They are simple and accessible to the masses, providing shelter to anyone seeking it. Yurts are warm in the winter and cool in the summer; they do a tremendous job of protecting inhabitants from the elements outside. They have been shaped by Mongolia’s extreme climate over thousands of years.
Yurts also have very spiritual elements, found in many of the components of the yurt structure both outside and inside. That’s why Mongolian yurts are not manufactured on an assembly line. Instead you’ll find that the Mongolian people create yurt components using a meticulous process.
Mongolian Yurts Are a Proud Family Tradition That Incorporates Respect & Spirituality
A yurt, or “ger” as it is known in the Mongolian language, is not a random assembly of prefab pieces. Each component of the yurt has meaning, and, as each is created by hand, no two yurts are the same.
The wooden pieces of the yurt – in particular the door, the pillars (bagaans), the roof rafters (huns) and the toono (the compression ring that is at the top of the yurt) are made to measure and painted by hand.
Other components such as insulation and ropes are made from sheep’s wool and horsehair, respectively (and respectfully). Horse hair ropes do not last forever in a humid climate and can always be changed to new ones or synthetic straps. We keep offer them as a standard as they are beautiful an create a direct source of income for the Mongolian herders.
As you can probably guess by now, Mongolian yurts are not made in a central “yurt factory.” That concept would be completely foreign and unimaginable for the Mongolian people.
Mongolian yurts are very much a family business.
At Groovy Yurts, we’ve lived and traveled extensively in Mongolia. As such we’ve partnered with a family in Mongolia who make yurts. In the video below you can see this family, led by a wonderful fellow named Baata.
These phenomenal people create most of the yurt components that we offer to you. Everything they make is done by hand, and each component – while following the traditions of time – is unique in the way it is created.
The Essential Components of a Mongolian Yurt & How They Are Created
The materials used in a Mongolian yurt are all natural.
Take the ropes that are used to wrap and secure the yurts. These ropes are made from horsehair. But not just any hair from the horse. Only hair from the mane is clipped and used to create yurt ropes. Why not take hair from the horse’s tail? No, this is would be sacrilege! The hair on the tail belongs to the horse and is considered sacred.
Sheep’s wool is generally used for insulation in a yurt. At Groovy Yurts we offer the “white felt” which is more dense and considered to hold up to humidity better.
The wood for the lattice walls is still split and cut by hand. Wood is carefully selected for each part and dried; Tamarack for the walls and huns and Siberian pine for the other parts
In the video you’ll see the family hand-painting the various wooden components. These paints are water based and we varnish the exterior parts. Painting is done by all the women in the family, who are known to sing traditional Mongolian songs while engaging in their work.
It’s not unheard of for the family to pause and take a break from the yurt-making to engage in a little friendly wrestling.
Mongolian Yurts Are a Truly Unique Product Made with Respect and Love
So you can see that Mongolian yurts truly are a one-of-a-kind product not just to own but to respect and appreciate, knowing they were made with respect and love.