National Geographic : 1936 Jan
WITH THE NOMADS OF CENTRAL ASIA A LAMA GESTURES WEIRDLY WHILE PERFORMING A TRADITIONAL KALMUCK DANCE To the tune of a two-stringed lute, he entertains the crowd with an acrobatic dance during a feast (see text, page 56). Among the nomads, dancing, singing, and lute-playing are done by the males. Women labor while men play, and members of one sex seldom encroach on the other's sphere. HE CHOSE HIS WIFE BECAUSE SHE WAS OF A PROLIFIC FAMILY The young bride's fortune lies mainly in her collection of beads and silver jewelry, her strong back and robust health, and her ancestral record of fecundity. Every prospective husband among the Kalmucks knows that whatever beauty a girl may have when she marries will quickly fade under arduous labors in a smoky yurt. It is sons he hopes for, to carry on his name and bring him respect in the eyes of his friends.