Why do nomads move or migrate?

Many people around the world may not know why nomads in Mongolia do migrate or move all the time. According to some of the area nomads make migration 3-5 times a year but some of them less. Anyway there are no nomad that do not move from one place to another place. So what do you think? You may think that they are doing this because they are tired of old place and look for a new?

Yes, this is close to the reality but not exact. There are four completely different seasons in Mongolia. Those four seasons are cold winter, hot summer, spring and autumn.

For staying and living in the winter they choose places that low in altitude with dry air. In those areas very little snow so it is paradise for the animals as snow will not cover the grass. Livestock can find the grass without any special skills. 

 But when it is summer, why do they move and why do they leave such a nice place?

During the winter grass will not grow until it spring. All the root of the grass are frozen and death. So livestock of nomads will finish all the grass that covers the open step and mountains around this area in radius of one km. After one km starts land of different nomads and they are in same fate too. When it starts spring in the national parks of Mongolia starts melting snow. And their livestock will enjoy the young grass mixed with old that preserved under the snow. But tons of water that melting from the snow will help keep ground green and wet whole summer. After a month they will move again further high close to the white mountains of Altai. While they are enjoying their summer on the high shoulders of Altai, their winter lands are being recovered and getting ready for next winter. The reason why do they move to the mountain is that it is their only the chance to use the grass on the mountain before it gets covered by the snow. From the first snow on the mountains they turn their heads back.

- Photo by Timothy Allen

 

At the end of the summer they will cut the grass. One family saves about 1-3 tracks for one winter. Those are not enough to feed all their livestock as one family owns at least 200 animals including horses, camels, cows, yaks, goats and sheep so they use this grass only for newborn baby animals or for weak and old animals.

I hope this information was helpful to understand nomads! I am a man who lives in Mongolia but in the past I was living as a nomadic boy with my grandparents that now still living as a nomads.

Post by Baldyrgan