Natural Light in the Mongolian Ger

Do you see that thing in the background under the horse’s legs (click on pic to enlarge)? Do you have any guess what it is? It looks like a wagon wheel, like in the old pioneer days of the USA, and I was wondering myself. Here’s a closer look at it:

It’s spherical, so it can’t be a wheel! And why was it out in the middle of nowhere? Well, it was near the watering trough about 20 minute horseback ride from the Ger (Mongolian tent/dwelling).

One afternoon I had some idle time and enjoyed the warmth and sanctuary of the Ger. I was reading something and struggled to position the book in the daylight. As I looked up to the light I saw this:

The mystery was solved! That thing I was wondering about is actually the “top piece” or keystone of the Ger! In the picture the rain trap is half pulled over from the plastic window to let the light in. There is also a small hole for the stovepipe! So this was the only source of light in the daytime, inside the Ger. At night, the had a small high hanging fluorescent lamp powered by a solar battery. If your still confused here’ a clear picture of the Ger frame (not mine):When living without electricity (as well as other urban infrastructure) the nomads make the best use of time while the sun is up. At dawn, the brutal cold of the night still lingers and our days would normally start at 700 AM after the sun had been up for at least one hour. That left about 11 hours or so (in early spring)  to get as much work done as possible.

Just another look inside of the Ger! There are a few more interesting things I’ll point out later.

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