Otel & Riya's Page

Otel and Ruyiah, as any good Kipchak family, live in a yurt1.

Otel has made several yurts (and/or gers) over the years and has kept the finest for himself and his family. It is made of white oak with hand-split and steam-bent roof poles. In the interest of cost and efficiency, the wall sections were cut on a saw but hand-hewn down to a semicircular section for that "authentic look." The ties are all leather. The ropes once were sisal, but have since been switched to braided polyster for durability and function. The door is a felt rug imported from Kyrgzstan.

Of course, like any proper yurt, this one (and most of those built by Otel) have been clad in felt. Currently, this yurt uses modern acrylic felt, but Otel's long-term goal is to replace the acrylic with hand-made wool felt once time and finances allow. Felt, you say? Doesn't that leak? Well, yes and no. Of course, people would never have used felt if it didn't shed water. The lanolin in unscoured wool does a pretty good job of shedding water (and smells...piquant, too) and there have been a couple of techniques to improve on the water resistance of wool. However, Otel's acrylic wool is a different matter. The acrylic felt does absorb water, but then does a decent job of wicking it down to the ground. It tends to leak only when saturated and gathered at the edge of the roof. Hence, the reason for the curved roof poles!

Putting up the frame

A view from the inside

Check out this door!

1 : Yes, it is a yurt. If it was a Mongolian-style ger being occupied by Mongols, then it would be a ger, which is the proper Mongolian term. However, nether the structure nor its inhanitants are Mongolian; they are Turkic, and the proper term for it is yurt.

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Copyright Joel & Angela Cropley 2009
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