What is traditional Mongolian architecture?
The yurt is a dome-style house with a round spire on the grassland. It is composed of wooden fence struts, doors, top rings, lining felt, sheathing felt, leather ropes, and bristle ropes. Yurt architecture is a local architecture that reflects the production and lifestyle of the northern nomads, and is a symbol of grassland culture. Architecture reflects the technological level of a nation. The yurt architecture is the product of the northern nomads dealing with the relationship between man, animal and nature. In this process, knowledge and technology of effective use of local natural resources and adaptation to the natural environment have been accumulated.
The erection of the yurt is generally to choose the topography first. In the place where the water and grass are suitable, first draw a circle according to the size of the bag, and then set up the pre-made wooden grid (Hana) along the drawn circle, on the top of the bag. Then set up a fixed skylight (oni) bracket, generally the top height is about 4m, and the periphery is about 2m high. Most of the doors open to the east or southeast. The exterior and top of the whole package are made of lightweight sand willow.
The roof is centered on O’Neill, and thin rafters (Wunai) are tied, in the form of a movable umbrella cover, and fixed with camel rope to become a fixed circular wall. The dome Taoao has a diameter of 1.5m and is decorated with beautiful patterns. The shape of the top of the bag is a cone, usually covered with one layer or two layers or even multiple layers of felt or canvas, and finally a rectangular felt is used to cover the Taoao overnight or to prevent rain and snow. Knock Hana and Unai together in a circle, then put on felt, fasten with wool rope, and you’re done. Two or three people can build or dismantle a yurt in one or two hours.
The interior decoration divides the inner plane of the yurt into nine directions. The middle position facing the top ring is the fire position, with a stove for cooking and heating; the front of the fire position is the door.
The left side of the door is where the saddles and milk barrels are placed, and the right side is where the desks, cabinets, etc. are placed. In the five or five positions around the fire position, neatly arranged along the wooden grid are the wooden cabinets with ethnic patterns and wooden boxes.
The front of the cabinet is covered with thick blankets. Its advantage is that the yurt looks small in appearance, but the usable area inside the bag is large. Moreover, indoor air circulation (except for the skylight, there is a layer of felt at the bottom of the braided wall, which can be opened for ventilation in summer, and put down to keep warm in winter), with good lighting conditions, warm in winter and cool in summer, not afraid of wind and rain.
The semi-circular top of the bag, when the wind and snow come, the top of the bag will not accumulate snow, and the top of the bag will not be stored in heavy rain. The circular structure can also resist the storm. The door of the yurt opens to the southeast, which can avoid the strong cold air of Siberia and also follows the ancient tradition of taking the sunrise direction as auspicious. In the central part of the tent, there is a stove about two feet high.
On the east side of the stove is a cupboard for stacking cooking utensils, and there is a skylight on the ceiling of the tent above the stove. The western side of the stove is covered with carpet, and on the carpet is a carved wooden table with low legs. The shepherd’s whip, bow and arrow, shotgun, and chewing bridle were hung on both sides of the door. On the west side of the tent, there are red-painted wooden cabinets. On the north corner of the wooden cabinets, there are Buddhist niches and Buddha statues. In front of the Buddha statues are placed incense burners and sacrifices.
The connections between the parts of the yurt are exquisite, convenient, easy to construct and disassemble, easy to transport, and not easy to damage.
The reason for the emergence and disappearance of this building is mainly due to nature and production, or economic reasons. From ancient times to the pre-Yuan Dynasty, the production and life style in Inner Mongolia was nomadic, searching for pastures, and moving to live in pursuit of water and grass. In order to adapt to such production and living customs, the northern nomads created a movable tent-style residential building-the yurt. This housing mainly for swimming has gradually been standardized in the long-term production and life.
In the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty, the productivity of the Central Plains area was greatly damaged during the war, coupled with frequent natural disasters and the “enclosure” of the Manchu palace, which put the majority of farmers in a hungry and cold situation. In order to survive, they were forced to “go west” and “break through the east” to cultivate land in Mongolia to make a living.
Since the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, a large number of farmers have poured in, and the trend has been increasing year by year. A large number of pastures have been reclaimed to develop planting. Part of the Mongolian land was recruited for reclamation until the ban on cultivation was abandoned, and the “immigrant real border” was implemented, and the Mongolian land was fully reclaimed.
The Beiyang government and the Kuomintang inherited the policy of free reclamation in the late Qing Dynasty, and implemented the “Mongolian Sinicization” policy of indiscriminate reclamation, and formulated many decrees to reward reclamation. The past 100 years of reclamation has made the nomadic economy lose the foundation of its existence, and the production method in Mongolia has shown a pattern of mainly agriculture and concurrently engaged in animal husbandry. Since then, with the disappearance of nomadic methods, nomads do not need to move. On the Mongolian plateau, building houses and living has become a trend. Yurts, ox carts and even horses have lost their use value.
The above discusses the basic standardized yurt architecture and the level of knowledge and technology it reflects. Looking at its history, although the materials, structure, interior decoration and form of the yurt building have changed to some extent, they have not exceeded the scope of experience, and there have not been more architectural ideas and principles. Why do they still attract scholars’ attention? , And it seems to be an enduring topic. The key point is that the yurt is not only a technical construction, a text of objects, but more importantly, a cultural text of the northern nomads.
Interpret it and understand how the relationship between the inhabitants, the universe and society was constructed during the formation of these local knowledge and technologies. “From a practical point of view, houses enable people to avoid the damage of natural wind and rain, but the effect of houses reflects not only some technical considerations, but also cultural preferences.”
- A yurt is a house that is convenient for migration.
This migration is different from the location selection of other ethnic groups in ancient China. There is no feng shui principle about houses, but a regular migration according to the season, climate, pasture, livestock and people. It is the nomads who adapt to nature and live in harmony with nature. A wonderful embodiment, the knowledge of grassland growth or natural concepts acquired in the long-term nomadic life has become the basis of yurt architecture. The integration of man and nature also makes them bound by supernatural concepts outside of fewer people, forming a bold personality and national identity.
- The yurt structure reflects the view of the universe.
The shape and structure of the yurt is not entirely a choice of technology, but also a choice of culture. The nomads live on the vast grassland, endless, “are surrounded by the horizon connecting the sky and the earth, the sky and the earth are both distant and intersecting, and can also accommodate humans and all things in the world. It is easy to produce the idea of a “round sky”.” This is the simplest concept of the universe they have produced. This concept is reflected in the houses. Therefore, the structure of the circular wall and skylight is an imitation of the sky.
The nomads believed in Shamanism in the early days, and Shamanism’s interpretation of the structure of the universe also permeated the structure of the yurt. “Shamanism philosophy proposes two cosmic structural models, one is the closed universe, and the other is the open universe. The closed universe advocates the finite theory of the universe, including the theory of Gaitian… and other specific structural models of the universe.
As far as the Gaitian theory is concerned,…and the hunting-nomads living on the arid grasslands in the north advocate the theory that “the sky is like a dome.” The blue sky, like a dome, is shrouded in the square fields. This can be said to be the most intuitive and simple concept of the universe. The Qionglu is the model of the universe recognized by the ancient nomads. “
- The connection between the yurt and life.
The significance of yurts to nomads is different from other social situations. In the nomadic economy, due to the limited stock of pastures, the form of scattered grazing is adopted, and different yurts are far apart. The yurt has become the center of people’s lives and the support of life. Once the package is destroyed, there is nothing to rely on.
Invisibly, the yurt and the people have gone through a process of mutual penetration, and they have become integrated and inseparable. Therefore, the components of the yurt are regarded as symbols of human life. The door corresponds to the throat, the stove corresponds to the heart, and the skylight corresponds to the head. There are customs and rules that the threshold cannot be stepped on, and the stove fire is placed in the center of the bag.
4. the yurt is a space for the establishment of relations between people.
As a residential house, the yurt first provides people with a shelter for life and safety, and at the same time provides people with food and warmth. More importantly, since birth, people live in a space separated from the outside world, old and young, men and women through the family. The rules, hints and meanings in these relationships enable people to learn the methods generally recognized by society for being and doing things. And attitude, and this is the process of a person’s socialization.
Inside the yurt, different spatial orientations are divided around the stove fire, expressing and compiling a network of sacred-secular, past-present, men-women, elders-juniors, and self-outsiders. In this round house with an area of less than tens of square meters, people have developed the ethical and social relationship between people and the sacred relationship between people and gods. In a society with a common psychological belonging, people follow a common behavior. Standardize a harmonious life.
The stove fire in the center of the yurt is a symbol and sign of the formation of a spatial relationship. “It plays the role of counting points when the yurt space is formed. All the life of the family revolves around this place.” First of all, with the stove as the center, its west is a place for men, men’s daily necessities, and production tools used. , Such as saddles, whips, bits, brushes, etc., men generally sit in the west.
On the east side of the stove is a place for women’s activities. Women’s daily necessities, kitchen utensils, tableware, and milk barrels used in production are placed there, and women are seated on the east side of the house. The Mongolian people’s spatial pattern with the west as the uppermost, the male area in the west and the female area in the east reflects the social status and division of labor between men and women.
Secondly, the stove fire is the starting point for the unfolding of the current space, and also the connection point between diachronic space and time, “the link between ancestors and descendants.” Because, according to Mongolian customs, the youngest son is the fire heir of the family, and his name is added with the words “Wititi Chijin”, which means the owner of the fire. The youngest son is the one who inherits his father’s most precious property, fire. In this way, the relationship between generations is established, a family is continued, and space and time are unified through the medium of fire.
“Historical Collection”: “In addition to the property and territory that Genghis Khan gave to him when he was in power, he also basically inherited all the land, pasture and property of Genghis Khan during his lifetime.”
At the same time, the east and west horizontal wood of the skylight is the boundary, that is, the south of the stove is a secular area, where life and production utensils are placed, and the north is a sacred area for the Buddha to worship the ancestor. Therefore, the old man is in the true north or the west, and the young man is below the old man (south). Older people should love the younger ones, and the younger ones should respect the old ones. The spatial norms provide a real way for the formation of this kind of emotion.
- The yurt is a space to show religious ideas and beliefs.
The yurt has been inseparable from the beliefs of the nomads and the gods in their hearts since its birth. If at first it was the belief that constructed the direction, shape, color, decoration and internal pattern distribution of her door. Then, after all of these are formed, faith endows the sacred quality and power of the felt, and exerts a kind of religious and cultural power on the people living in it, and makes the knowledge about the universe formed and passed down in history and life His attitude is handed down through the ages in the form of objects.
At the same time, through the same housing conditions and religious activities surrounding them, a common and consistent spiritual worship is formed among different people in a society, which is also a basic element of social cohesion and social order.
Shamanism is a religion of multiple gods, including god worship, ancestor worship, fire god worship, sun, moon and stars and other natural objects and natural phenomena. Their meaning is reflected in the shape, structure, internal layout, decoration and other physical objects of the felt tents, giving them the sacred quality and strength of the felt tents.
One of the most important sacred places in the yurt is the stove. Because they worship the god of fire, they regard fire as an important symbol of the existence and continuity of a family, and a symbol of the prosperity and prosperity of a family.
As a result, there are various taboos against burning fires. For example: Don’t throw dirty things into the fire, even cigarette butts, don’t hit the support, can’t hit the fire support with scissors, can’t put the pot diagonally on the fire support, can’t chop things beside the stove, etc. . These taboos all stem from the special mentality of the Mongolians to worship fire, believing that angering the god of fire will bring bad luck to themselves and their family.