It’s a Ger!
The NWLA campus has an exciting new addition: an authentic Mongolian ger, which comes to us by way of Grethe Cammermyer, who found it during her travels in Mongolia. Our sincere thanks to Grethe and Diane for bringing this truly beautiful structure our way, and to Tim and Chris Cammermyer and Sam Hendrix for their help with set-up.
“Ger” is the Mongolian word for yurt (from Russian, “yurta.”), a felt-covered, wood-framed dwelling traditionally used by Turkic and Mogolian nomads, who make the felt covering out of wool from their flocks of sheep. The structure is designed to be dismantled easily and carried by yak or camel to a new site. In modern Turkish, the word “yurt” is used as the synonym for homeland.
The crown of the yurt is a national symbol for many Central Asian cultures. It can be seen on the flag of Kyrgyzstan as well as in Kazakhstan’s coat of arms. In Kazakhstan, while a yurt would traditionally be dismantled and rebuilt, the crown (called the “shangrak”), would be kept intact, and passed on from father to son. A family could meassure their heritage by te degree to which the shangrak had been blackened by decades of smoke.
In Mongolia, the crown is known as toono, and its shape developed out of Buddhist practices to reflect that of the Dharmachakra. The toono, pillars and poles of our Mongolian ger reflect the aesthetics of Mongolia’s Buddhist monasteries. This kind of ger is called “uyangiin ger” — meaning “yurt of lyrics” or “yurt of melodies”.
The ger is available as a rental for truly unique overnight stays. Contact NWLA for more information or to book the ger today, or come by during one of our new Wednesday evening happy hours for a tour!