Making Felt in Mongolia


In Central Asia, a felt covered dwelling (yurt) has been used for millennia. Noted by Chinese scribes over two thousand years ago, it is the oldest recorded portable dwelling. In Mongolia, these dwellings are called ger, meaning ‘home’.  A ger is a round, dome-shape construction made of wooden trellis covered with felt. As the Mongolian economy is based on pastoral nomadism, the mobility of the ger is highly valued. A family could assemble or dismantle it in under an hour; it would then be hauled by horses or yaks. Nomadic and settled people alike value ger as an all-season dwelling that gives excellent protection against rain, wind and snow in the cool and windy climate of the treeless Mongolian steppe.

Photographs taken in 2002 in Bulgan Aimag in the northern part of Mongolia, northwest of UlaanBaatar, by Dr. Michael Gervers

Courtesy of Michael Gervers