One yurt is six meter diameter (but few centuries ahead of time, the royal yurts were much bigger). The “wall” that is as a cylinder is 1,50m high. It is made out of a willow wood trellis. For breaking down and transportation of the yurt, the trellis can break down in 5 folding pieces. The door is the only concrete piece. It is always oriented south. It is often painted, eventually decorated with geometrical patterns intertwined with no beginning nor end (the öldziis, happiness and welcome symbols). Eighty one poles (9X9) support the roof. They join all together at the top on a circular and wooden opening ( the tanoo). This opening allow the air to come into the house, home becomes the core of the world, it is sanctified. The central pillars link the earth to the sky. So it is better not to touch them and go around them when going from one side to the other inside the yurt or to give or take something (while we will see though some of our guest ignoring this guideline). As well as the pillars, the hole for the fire smoke is the link between the earth and the sky.
We can notice, the yurt is perfect for the climate in the country (fresh during summer time, hot in winter, very resistant to the strong wind) and nomadic life: easy to pitch, to break down and to carry.
One legend tells the story of the yurt: “ Once an old man got the idea to build a shelter for men based on the earth model: the walls were inspired by the mountains surrounding the steppe, the door that stops the blizzard and opens on find whether was like the gully facing south; the hole for the fireplace was the sun and the perches were his rays. The white felt cloths covering the walls were the rising fog behind the mountains, those on the roof, the clouds. At least, the ropes maintaining the all thing were inspired by the tornados from the other side of the mountains. Like this he creates the yurt round as the world.”
So the yurt is a small-scale model of the universe. So we have to respect some rules for avoiding to offense the spirits and the space division inside ( who we place on the left side, on the right side and the north). Based in the central home, the fire place becomes the core of the world that’s why it is sanctified.
“Every night, one being with light yellow skin was coming through the light filtering through the smoke opening. He was rubbing my womb and his light was penetrating my breast. When he was going out, he was creeping as a yellow dog on a moon ray or a sunray.”( The secret story of the Mongols)
One have to stride over the threshold and avoid to step on it because the spirit of the yurt remains in that very place. In the 13th century, the non respect of this rule while entering the Khan’s yurt was punished by death by the Yasa, the law imposed by Gengis Khan to the tribes reunited or winned over. The foreigners who did not know the rule were escaping, but new entrance in the Khan’s yurt was forbidden.