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Carleton College

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Program Name

Mongolia: Nomadism, Geopolitics, and the Environment


For centuries, Mongolians have relied heavily on the land for their survival. In Selenge aimag, the surrounding Tujiin Nars forest is an integral part of their lives. An area with many uses, it was once so heavily deforested that the majority of the area lost its ecological function. Now, these impacts are being reversed by dedicated government workers, community groups, and regular citizens. The people of this area believe that they are intimately connected with the forest, and that spirits reside within the trees and the land itself. As such, they stake importance in treating the land with respect. This spiritual environment has constructed a moral philosophy in this community, shaping the way in which they relate to and use the land. This paper discusses the formulation of this morality, and how daily practices either compliment or counter the spiritual beliefs of this area.


Asian Studies | Environmental Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Nature and Society Relations | Place and Environment


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