The Mongolian Ger
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
A traditional ger (Mongolian) is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by several distinct nomadic groups in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure consists of an angled assembly or latticework of wood or bamboo for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel (crown, compression ring) possibly steam-bent. The roof structure is often self-supporting, but large yurts may have interior posts supporting the crown. The top of the wall of self-supporting yurts is prevented from spreading by means of a tension band that opposes the force of the roof ribs.
A Ger is our traditional round-shaped dwelling that has been used since the Mongols started nomadic life with animal husbandry. In essence – it’s their home. Ger is portable, easily assembled and disassembled, and the most natural dwelling on earth. A ger consists of felt covers, wooden columns, and around the window at the top, thin wooden poles and floor, wall (wooden lattice attached together with animal hide, ropes), and ropes. Most of the ger materials are made of animals like felt- sheep wool, ropes- camel or sheep wool, horse or yak’s tail, and of course wood.
A Mongolian ger can be bought for somewhere between $500-$600 USD, but this can go up massively depending on the materials used and how it is decorated. If you want to save some time and buy yourself a fully furnished ger, you’re looking at over $6,000 USD for your fully furnished Mongolian ger. Luxury!
The good thing is, if you look after your Mongolian ger correctly, it can stay in your family and be passed down for many years. A 70-year-old ger can still be in great condition but may need a few repairs and replacements over the years.
Mongolian people are very eco-minded and don’t like to throw things away, but instead live with what they have and like to repair instead of replace. There's not much else you can do but recycle when you are in the middle of the Gobi desert.
The north side is the place of honor. The family shrine is placed on an altar. Beds are placed close to the east and west sides stacked with colorful cushions, blankets, and neatly folded bedclothes for the night. Everything is kept tidy. The west front of the ger (the man's side) keeps work equipment, such as saddle and tack, next is the calfskin sack especially for fermenting mare's milk (airbag). On the woman's side (east front) there are open shelves for jugs, pans, and bowls. As well as locate a cupboard for cooking and eating utensils.