By Neal Ritter
It is amazing how different cultures around the world worked with the landscape to create shelters ideally suited for the environment. Looking at simple wickiups to complex stone masonry, the materials are endless, and the ingenuity it inspiring. I find it interesting how different spaces feel, how the materials smell, how the affect our connection to our surroundings.
For years I have been inspired by the shelters of nomads. As a child, I moved essentially every year, so I think some aspect of impermanence has always appealed to me, or at least felt normal. There is something about nomadic cultures, that explore new horizons, or revisit favorite places I appreciate. I also like the required minimalism that comes with regular movement.
I have stayed in a variety of nomadic shelters, from simple grass huts and leaf covered shelters to caves to tipis to wickiups.
One of my favorite shelters is the Mongolian Yurt. I am not sure why. I like the roundness, the beauty, the years of evolution that went into the design. Yurts feel special, creating a comforting space. They look beautiful on the land, from forests to deserts to grasslands.
We recently purchased and set up a yurt as an additional space on the land. Several community members came out to help with the set up, another aspect of nomadic shelters being community coming together. It is a traditional yurt built by a family in Mongolia, and we feel deeply grateful for all of their time and energy going into the incredible structure. We are excited to see how to settles into the landscape, how we utilize it with outdoor homeschool programs and primitive skills workshops, how the traditions of Mongolia fit into the Colorado landscape.