Nomad Lifestyle

Nomad Lifestyle

Mongolia is one of the nomad countries in the world. Since the Hunnu Empire Mongolians raising their five domestic animals (it is including sheep, horse, cow, camel, and goat) in the broad region of forest, steppe and Gobi desert. Especially they respect their horses. Mongolians see their horse is their best friend. Mongolian nomadic people move into place to place 2-4 times a year as well as it is depending on livestock's pasture. Mongolian nomad people always following their livestock.

Mongolia is one of the few countries that still have a nomadic way of life but pretty much modernly developed in the capital city. Since the ancestors, Hun Empire, Mongolians raise five animals as livestock; sheep, horse, cow, camel, and goat in the broad region of mountain, forest, steppe, and Gobi desert. Particularly, Mongolians respect their horses very much and they dwell in traditional Ger (covered felt), which is easily installed and very suited to natural conditions all year. Nomads move their ger and animals a few times a year for following better grazing, water, and weather. Most families band together in family groups called ail of between five and eight ger. They normally relocate to a winter camp from November to April, which has some stone shelters for the animals. During the summer, camels are left unattended for months at a time, at a distance of up to 50km away. The life of a nomad and thereof Mongolia is inextricably linked with the environment and the animals. Nomads learn to ride as soon as they can walk to a horse.

Mongols are shy by nature. They often hide their confusion or embarrassment behind a smile. Foreign people remark on their friendliness and hospitability. The host is well aware that the wayfarer entering his Ger is perhaps tired and still has a long way to go on. Of course, he has also found himself in similar situations more than once, so he welcomes with great hospitability. Such specific features as Mongolia’s vast sparsely populated area, its rigorous climate, and nomadic economy could not fail to make their imprint on the people’s behavior and the manner in which they express their thoughts and sentiment.

Mongolian livestock. Mongolia is rich in livestock over 40 million heads and huge percent of the country’s prosperity depends on these animals. Goats herd with sheep, can only herders explain why. The benefits of sheep are meat, wool, leather and milk products. The goat provides cashmere, milk, and company for the sheep but if the number rises high it would affect the pasture leading to desertification because they eat with the roots.

Breeding of cattle is for beef, milk products, leather, etc. In the western part of Mongolia, you find yak grazing with cattle. Yak's milk contains fatter than cow and seems more active as one approaches a mixed herd, the yaks – hairy as terriers – are always the first to run off, lofting their feathery tails like pennons. Also, there is hainag, yak-cow hybrid. (The reverse hybrid of Mongolian bull with a female yak is possible but not used.) The male having is stronger than either parent. It is a burly beast with hair longer than its mother's and shorter than its father's. The female hainag produces more milk than the female of either parental stock. But its calf, the ortom, is a weakling, and breeding is not taken further.

Mongolians respect their horses very much and are used for ride, milk products and for racing. You would come across twenty to thirty horses as lined near Ger for milking. Mongols say they milk better if you let the foal start them. A popular drink product from a horse is airag. It’s color white and tastes milky but can get you drunk when you consume much.

Nomads use a camel as a means for transportation. When you ride its wool is warm and comfortable between big two humps as they walk slowly and gently. Also, man load on their belongings and camel is tough, it can travel week without consuming water. And it is not eaten, nor the milk is commonly used, perhaps it’s only viable livestock that survives the harsh Gobi terrain.