Yurt (ger) is a very simple, traditional building, which for centuries was preferred by the Turkic peoples living in the territory from Mongolia to Central Anatolia. During its existence, the yurt has evolved from the main living quarters for nomads and soldiers to the place of residence of hippies and hermits. Today, there are modernized versions that are often used for exotic vacations.
A yurt can be a place of residence for people who want to lose many problems, but at the same time feel comfortable, have access to electricity and modern technology (if desired) and not spend money excessively. If you want to understand whether you can live in a yurt for a while or even a lifetime, consider the following information.
1. Where did the name "yurt" come from?
The word yurt came to the Russian language from the Turkic "jurt". Initially, it was translated as “people”, later it became known as the dwellings of the nomadic people, pastures and even tribal lands. In modern Kazakh and Kyrgyz languages there is the word "ata-jurt" - the fatherland or homeland, but literally this phrase was translated as "father's house."
There is a word similar in sound to the yurt in the Mongolian language - ger, here it is also a synonym for home. It turns out that from the languages of many nomadic peoples, the “yurt” is simply translated as “home” or “home”, which emphasizes its importance and significance.
2. When did the first yurts appear?
Scientists, historians and art historians still argue about this. The most common two versions: XII-IX or VIII-V centuries BC. The first version assumes that yurts are the dwellings of Andronovites who lived in the Urals, in Siberia and Central Asia as far back as the Bronze Age. But their yurt variants are similar to log cabins, that is, not quite the same as they are now known.
But the dwellings of nomads who lived in the same territory in the VIII-V centuries are practically the same as we know today yurts. It is known for certain that the Huns, Turks, Mongols, Kazakhs and Turkmens used yurts, but each nation had its own options.
3. Why is the yurt round?
It would seem a simple question, which is most often asked by children. But answering it is not so easy. Today, much is said about the sacred meaning of the circle and the significant division of the internal area. But all these thoughts appeared much later than the usual form. Scientists say that the nomads who lived in the steppes chose a round shape due to the fact that it has the least resistance to the wind, which walks constantly. Exactly such dwellings could survive in any hurricane.
Much later, physicists and builders proved that round buildings are also the most stable, and also much more capacious than their quadrangular counterparts.
4. How is the Mongolian yurt different from the Kazakh?
The Mongolian and Kazakh yurts, although very similar, still have differences. Both of them descended from the ancient Turkic prototype.
The Kazakh yurt consists of a sliding base (kerege), a dome (uuki), movable ropes (sagnaki) and shanyrak (holes in the dome). The entrance may be closed by a door or a felt cloth.
The Mongolian yurt consists of a wooden frame (khans), an inclined roof made of poles (uni), central supports and a tundyuk (an analogue of a shanyrak). The entrance is usually closed with a quilted felt cloth.
8. How long can I live in a yurt?
You can live as long as you like in a yurt. Although this is a mobile home, it is designed for a comfortable stay at any time of the year. If you wish, you can live in it in one place, like in a country house or in a country house, for years. And you can transport it several times a year from place to place: to a river, to a forest glade, to the sea or to the mountains.
12. How is the yurt arranged inside?
Of course, modern yurts that are used as mobile dachas are rarely installed and furnished in accordance with traditions. But earlier it was customary for the nomads to orient the house so that the doors faced south, while the eastern half was considered male and the western half female. In the center, strictly under the hole in the dome, a hearth was established. Behind the hearth opposite the entrance was located all the valuable that the owners had. Between this storehouse and the hearth there was a place of honor, which was usually reserved for guests.