Yurt is a principle dwelling of nomads in Central and Middle Asia, also in south part of Siberia. According to archeological data, first prototype of yurt existed 3000 years ago.

Nomads are breeders that had to move from place to place in search of new pastures. That was the reason for having special house that could be easily built and disjoined. On average, this process took 3 hours (disjoining – 1 hour, new construction - 1,5-2 hours). Notably women did it and children helped them while men had to drive cattle to new places.

First of all a doorway should be made while yurt installation. Then walls should be made in the form of sliding grates that are knitted with each other by leather peaces (to make it easier to install). Then on top of a yurt the dome should be made (tunduk), which is used as a smoke hole during cold seasons or as a window during hot weather. And the last thing is roof frame consisting of planed poles that are put above in the center of the roof and are based on a grate of the walls.
Total weight of yurt, including furniture, is 300-400 kg and this is tonnage of only one camel.

Speaking about interior, till 20th century it used to be a lot of space in yurt, without any shelves, chairs and other “luxury” things. Normally nomads handled with mattresses, common table, products and some clothing. While sleeping time men and women used to reside in different parts of the yurt.


Certain rules of hospitality existed in yurts.
Nomads thought that it was not allowed to step on a front doorstep as ghosts of ancestries live there and it is prohibited to disturb them. Nomads did as follows: they overstepped via front doorstep by right foot, touched the doorway with left hand – that was the way they wished peace and welfare for hosts.

Greeting rules (towards guests) also existed. For instance, according to Tuvan custom, anyone entering into yurt should be met as special guest. It was not polite to ask the name of a guest at once. If old person or some officer came in, the host invited him saying: “Welcome! Come and settle yourself on the place of honor, on the rug!”. If some friend came, then the host said “Come in, come in”; if teenager came, he was said “Come in quickly.

In the Turkic yurt we were met by its custodian Andrew. He agreed to sing and play national folk music.You can see it in the video.