Mongolia’s Five Snouts – Tuesday’s Snapshot

Family Life in Rural Mongolia – Tuesday’s Snapshot
January 1, 2014
Lakes of Mongolia – Tuesday’s Snapshot
January 14, 2014

Tuesday’s Snapshots – highlighting images from the EL team and our guests based on a Mongolia theme. This week…introducing Mongolia’s livestock – the five snouts or the tavan hoshuu mal.



In Mongolia, pastoralism has been the central feature of life from ancient times, and almost every aspect of society has been shaped by it. 
Herders continuously micro-adapt to the climatic conditions and the quality of available pasture.  Fat animals survive the long winter better so it is important to try to fatten them throughout the summer.  If there is poor grass in the summer, the animals go into winter thin and weaker, and there is likely to be high mortality particularly if the winter is harsh. 
Herders do not own land but recognise land use – with accommodation made for changes in water supply and productivity.
Traditionally herders have grazed animals by rotating animals over shared pasture according to the seasons. Depending on the characteristics of the environment and the climate, some pastoralists will move hundreds of miles while others only move short distances. Similarly, in some areas or during certain years, herders may make frequent moves in a year, whereas in other areas they may move just a few times.


Co-operation between herders was and is still common – such as the traditional khot-ail . This is a group of nomadic families that share the labour resources and control grazing.


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