Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Today a little bit on the symbolism of the well known Nomadic piece of architecture used by for example the Mongols.
While private and working life of the Yurt inhabitants is mixed there is a need in finding privacy in a space that is not at all physically subdivided. This subdivision is found in a set of conventions that structures the ground plan of the Yurt. Greatly ordered by symbolism it basically works as follows. The entrance of the Yurt is always situated on the south which allows space on the north side for the altar, the space reserved for religious activities. This north south-north oriented zones also represent the amount of privacy wanted in the tent. The deeper you enter the tent the more you enter the family space. Only honored guests are allowed to go here. The front side is reserved for servants normal visitors and sometimes even animals.
The east-west zones are respectively for women and men. What results in the fact that men always have more space then women because men have more than one wife in the Mongolian culture. The last physical division is in the vertical direction. The dome formed roof makes the division between the earthly and the heavenly (holy) world outside. The hole in the roof represents the light and the sun.
This vertical symbolism makes it possible for the Yurt structure to locate itself and to orientate in it's environment.