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Archit & Design
Yurt

Yurt

The yurt is an assembly-type building inhabited by nomadic tribes such as Inner Mongolia, Kazakh and Kirgiz minorities. It is put up by tying perches, tapis, cowhide and cords together. Characterized by local materials utilization, swift assembly and disassembly as well as portability, the yurt is fit for the ethnic nomadic people"s life featuring "migrating to wherever water and grass are available".


Having a history of over 2000 years, the yurt came into existence in the Han Dynasty in the latest and has been used till now. It was a dwelling for nomadic tribes in ancient times, regardless of aristocrats or commons. The yurt was usually put up on the rising parts of ground along nomadic routes, for the purpose of avoiding silt deposition and waterlogging. The frame of the entire yurt is comprised of three parts -"Hannah","Unni" and "Taonao" (small dormer on the roof), with each joint being fixed with ropes. The external part of the frame is wrapped with wind-proofing and heat-preserving materials including tapis and cowhide. The bottom circuit of tapis is designed to allow for rolling up, so as to facilitate ventilation in summer. Inner ventilation and lighting depends on "Taonao", which can be covered by tapis at night. The circular plane and dome of the yurt are capable of weakening wind pressure as well as dust and sand. The internal space of a yurt is usually two thirds as large as that of a square room with the same floorage, thus contributing to heat preservation and energy saving.


The door of the yurt is usually open southward, eastward or westward. The doorway is low and requires for bowing-posture when entering into the yurt. The center is provided with a Chinese-style fireplace, around which seats for host, guests and women are set. A Buddha figure and precious articles are usually placed on the left side of the host position. As it is the custom to sit and lie on the ground in the yurt, only a few pieces of furniture are demanded.


White tapis covered on the external part of the yurt is usually decorated with red, blue and yellow cloth which is printed with beautiful patterns of Mongolian style. Wooden components in the yurt and the doorframe are brushed with red oil paint, while the internal rims of the yurt is hung with blue cloth curtains. Also, a great deal of bright-colored tapis and beddings are provided in the yurt. The circular and exquisite yurts are scattering on the plain like sparkling pearls. Outside the yurt is the appealing scenery as described in the famous verse: "As the wind blows, the grass bends to reveal great herds and flocks".

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