National Geographic : 1962 Mar
KODACHROMESBYJORGEN BISCH (ABOVE) AND DEAN CONGER(C NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC Prefab home, a ger goes up in less than an hour COLLAPSIBLE GERS, or yurts, have served the nomadic herdsmen for centuries as warm, portable shelters against snarling blizzards that drop to 500 F. below zero. Some 85 out of a hun dred Mongolians still cling to their gers, moving them even into the cities (page 342). Here a popular factory-made model, assembled without nails or bolts, rises from the grass. Expe rienced hands set in place the expandable trellised wall at upper left. At right, they attach the ribs to a roof ring held up by two poles. At center left, the frame stands ready for cover ing. Sheet of felt, a material invented in central 312 Asia, goes over the spokes at right. More sheets blanket the walls at lower left. Ad ditional layers will go on as the weather grows colder. Canvas on top (right) shields the felt from rain. Two men with a pole raise a cover that con trols light and air and permits passage of a stove pipe (opposite). Protected by a felt-covered cocoon, a family enjoys the comforts of its ger. This truck driver's home stands permanently in Ulan Bator. Rugs cushion the wooden floor; electricity lights the lamp, and clear plastic covers the roof vent. Boy plays with a toy airplane; his Western suit con trasts with the traditional del of his parents.