The Five Animals
Mongolia has one of the world's last nomadic cultures.
Mongolian nomadic life centers around five animals: horses, cattle, camels, sheep and goats. Herders rely on these animals for all of their needs: transportation, food, drink, clothing, heating and even shelter.
Moving with the Seasons
Nomadic families move at the beginning of each season, and sometimes even more often, in search of good grazing land. If you travel to Mongolia during these times, you may have the opportunity to see families moving in a caravan to their new site.
Mongolian nomads live in gers, felt tents that are easy to take down, move and put back up. Although their design is simple, gers are warm and welcoming inside.
Mongolian food centers around the five animals. Families place aaruul, dried cheese curds, on ger roofs to dry in the summer sun. Horhog, real Mongolian barbecue, features juicy pieces of mutton cooked with mountain stream water and rocks from the land.
In the far west of Mongolia, in addition to their work with the five animals, herders hunt using trained golden eagles, in one of the world's great falconry traditions.
Art and Music
Mongolian art reflects the open spaces and independence that are hallmarks of nomadic life. Mongolian music, such as throat singing and long song, fills the emptiness of the steppe.