With a history of over a thousand years, this portative tabernacle made of wood meshed together with leather thongs and covered with felt is the home of the Mongolian nomads. Easy to build and dismantle, the ger, its furnishings, and the stove inside can be carried by just three camels, or wagons pulled by oxes. The average ger is small but spacious enough to provide enough living space for a family, is wind resistant, and has good ventilation. Gers are constructed of a latticed wood structure covered with layers of felt and canvas (ger's coverings). A lattice (section of ger lattice wall) frame of narrow birch and willow laths is held together by leather strips. The sections are about 2 meters long and are bound together to form a large circular structure. This collapsible lattice is called khana. The average ger uses four to eight khana, with five being the most popular size. The door-frame is a separate unit, as is the ceiling formed from an umbrella-like frame-work of slender poles called uni (caber, poles or a ger which make up roof), which are meshed to the khana on one end and slotted into the toono smoke hole (the opening and frame on top of a ger), a circular frame, at the top. Traditionally, the door was a felt flap attached to the door-frame, but most nomads now use a carved or painted wooden door. In the center of the toono is a small hole which allows smoke to escape and fresh air and light to enter. Each ger is heated by a small metal stove (tripod, trivet fireplace) fueled with dried cow dung (dry droppings of cattle for fuel) or wood. The entrance of the ger always faces southwards. Once the wooden framework khana is meshed together, it is covered with layers of felt and canvas. The felt helps the ger retain heat and the canvas over it sheds rain. Busluur ropes (rope which encircles the ger) made of hair (from five kinds of livestock) and wool hold the thick layer of felt in place. During the summer, one layer of felt is used, but...
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