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Medieval_16. Ger


Background Knowledge of the Ger

A ger is a traditional circular mobile dwelling used mainly by nomads living in the Mongolian highlands. The inside is a space with a diameter of about 4-6m. 

  ● Location: Mongolia

  ● When first made: A yurt, which is similar to a ger, was first mentioned in ‘The Histories,’ a book written by the Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC.

  ● Size: The size of the ger differs based on the number of wall sections. The most common type of ger has five wall sections up to 1.2 m high with a circular floor measuring 16–18m2.

  ● Materials: Wood and felt (a material made from sheep’s wool)

  ● Features: - The cylinder-shaped structure allows the ger to withstand the strong northwest wind of winter and hot summer temperatures, keeping the inside warm in winter and cool in summer.

   - Light and easily transportable. Easy to fold, wrap, and build. Can be put up by 4–5 people in one hour.

   - Remains strong even after many times of use. Convenient for keeping an eye on the livestock outside and quickly responding to raids by foreign tribes.

   - Listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind in 2013.

1. Interesting Story about Artifacts and Historic Sites

Ger, the Moveable House

Imagine living in a place where it’s really cold in winter and really hot in summer. That’s how it is in Mongolia, a country between China and Russia. Because it doesn’t rain much there, it’s hard to grow crops. So, instead of farming, most Mongolian people take care of animals like cows and sheep. But since they need to find good grass for their animals, they have to move around a lot depending on the season. That’s why they live in a special kind of house called a ger.

The ger is a unique house that shows the wisdom of the Mongolian people who have lived in the grasslands for a long time. It’s made with wood, felt, and colorful fabric. The interesting thing is that it’s so light that it can be carried on the back of a camel! The ger can be set up or taken down by 4 to 5 adults in just one hour.

You might be wondering, “Wouldn’t the ger fall down in the wind?” Well, don’t worry! The ger is really strong and can withstand the strong winds in the grasslands. It is built in a circular shape to help with that. In winter, they even put an extra layer of fabric on the ger to keep warm, and they take it off in the summer when it gets hot.

You might also be thinking, “If there are no windows, is it dark inside?” Actually, the top part of the ger acts like a window! It lets air and sunlight come in, so it’s not dark at all.

Inside the ger, there’s enough space for a family to sleep and cook. They have beds, a stove, a fireplace, and a table. But there’s no bathroom inside. Even today, many Mongolians still live in gers. But guess what? This kind of house is not only found in Mongolia. People in other parts of Central Asia also live in similar houses called yurts.