By Elizabeth Endicott
An illustrated heritage of the pastoral nomadic lifestyle in Mongolia, this e-book examines the various demanding situations that Mongolian herders proceed to stand within the fight over average assets within the post-socialist unfastened marketplace period.
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Additional resources for A History of Land Use in Mongolia: The Thirteenth Century to the Present
For instance, one may define Mongolia’s regions by mountain chains: the Khangai region (central-western Mongolia); the Khentii region (central-northeastern Mongolia); the Altai region (south-southwest); and the Sayan region (along the northern border with Russia). Or, one may instead use the convenient distinctions of vegetation zones: taiga in the north; mountain-forest-steppe (north-central); steppe (central); and desert-steppe and desert (southern tier). In terms of livestock herding, Mongolia’s pasturelands may be divided into five zones: the Khangai-Khövsgöl forested mountain region of the northwest; the Selenge-Onon Rivers region of north-central Mongolia; the high Altai Mountain zone; the central-eastern steppe lands; and the desert and steppe region of the Gobi.
Herders in summertime will typically look for pasture that is near water—rivers and lakes—but, of course, a variety of insects such as mosquitoes also camp out near water, making life virtually unbearable for animal and human alike. In many areas of Mongolia, a typical strategy is to move the herds higher up in the mountains where stronger winds may deflect some biting insects; in late summer or early autumn when the insect population has been reduced by the first frosts, the herders will then relocate at water sources.
Even in the stateless conditions of the pre-Mongol Empire period, it is likely that tribal and clan authority had a large role in determining households’ land use patterns. 1 Of course, such a generalization is difficult to prove or disprove, and no definition of “ancient tradition” is offered. Thirteenth-century sources are not generous in the information they provide about land use per se. When we look at those few passages that mention authority over pastureland in the Secret History of the Mongols (1228), the earliest written history of the Mongols by an anonymous Mongolian author, we may get some sense of how rights of access to pastureland could be allocated by a supratribal leader.
A History of Land Use in Mongolia: The Thirteenth Century to the Present by Elizabeth Endicott