Mongolia: Home of Genghis Khan and his grandson Kublai Khan, nomadic tribes swept across the grasslands, leaving little permanent culture, in a lifestyle determined by climate and geography. Making their homes in dome-shaped tents, called gers or yurts, they conquered territories from Korea and China across Central Asia to Hungary and Poland, ultimately ruling more than 100 million.
While Mongolians are known as a "five animal" people, horses are the most highly esteemed, and children learn to ride as they learn to walk. Mongolian throat singers tell their legends, myths, and stories as their voices resonate, producing two notes at once, with harmonic ranges from growling to whistling sounds.
Tuva: Located along the Mongolian border, sturdy, high-cheeked Tuvans are an integral part of the Inner Asia ethnic melange. They had no written language until the 1930's. Their language was song. Tuvan throat singers' offerings to the spirits are an integral part of their art. They strongly believe in Shamanism. This tiny independent state is a member of the Russian Federation.
Siberia: Few areas of the world evoke as many preconceived ideas as those surrounding Siberia. Is it as big as one imagines? Is it really a frozen tundra? Are there gulags at every turn, and are the people a society of criminals and misfits? Europeans merged with Inner Asians in frontier towns. Siberia covers 1/12th of the earth's land mass at over 5 million square miles. One of the region's astonishing wonders is beautiful Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake on earth, holding one-fifth of the world's fresh water. The captivating fresh water Nerpa seals are found here.
|"The very erudite commentary, the choice of scenery, people, objects all make up for a very good, finished work. It is as if each and everyone is made for the National Geographic."|