Mongolians, one of the last remaining nomadic people in the world, are still roaming the vast grasslands with no fences and living in the traditional felt covered gers. For, 3000 years, the “five animal” people of the steppe have adopted a pastoral way of life moving in the search of best pastures and in step with seasonal changes. They live by their livestock known as the five muzzles that include, horses, camels, sheep, goats and cows. Reindeers are bred by the Tsaatan people who live high up in the mountains of Khuvsgul lake boarding with Siberia.
A horse is not only a prized possession of Mongol but means of living and survival. The is what defines the nomadic culture where any herder can ride as well as they can walk. The small horses with big chests and short legs despite their size are incredibly resistant. they live all year around in semi-wild herds, gathered only for the draft and capture. They are partially watched over by herdsman to defend only against the wolves in winter.
Airag or fermented mare’s milk is praised for its benefit for health and the digestive system. Some airag from certain areas are more famous than others depending on the grazing grounds and the skill of the maker. Airag holds the same culture and social value in Mongolia same as wine in Feance. Yaks, cows, goat and sheep bring meat, leather and milk used for variety of diary products such as yoghurt, cheese, and aaruul- drieds curds that constitute the main diet of nomads during the summer time. Aaruul, cheese balls of different shapes and size dried on the roof of the ger, is used year around.
Sheep is the most common livestock used for meat, a basic staple of nomads diet. The skin and wool are used for clothing and making felt to insulate the gers. Goats are raised for valuable cashmere, as well as Mongolian cashmere is one of the highest quality cashmere in the world.
In gobi regions, the humped Bactrian camels are used for meat, milk and wool as well as for riding and transportation. Nomads devote their day tending to their livestock- watching over, milking, shearing, or combing- to produce felt and felt clothes, cheese and other diary products. Herders use uurga or lasso like pole to catch horses for taming or milking. (Mongolia magazine. MNET, 2016)