“We’re currently in a very difficult situation,” says Dvaadorg. “We have enough hay to last one month, but don’t have the money to buy more. If it keeps snowing, we’ll be in big trouble.”
Davaadorg and his wife, Chululuunkhuu, live in the Uvs mountains with two of their children. The other three go to school in the city. “We lost half our herd in the winter of 2019. My mother and my brothers and sisters went to live in Ulaanbaatar,” says Davaadorg.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CATTLE
“Livestock is all that we have. It provides us with food, clothing, and money for school,” says Davaadorg. “We make a bit of extra money with cashmere that we make from goat wool.”
“If you have 200 animals, 40 are newborns, 20 are male, you have to sell 50 to buy food and clothing, you eat 30, then you have 60 left for breeding. Wolves will also kill a few each year.
A SUMMER MARRIAGE
“I met Davaadorg during a party,” says his wife, Chululuunkhuu. “We got married in the summer of 2015. There were around 60 guests. We killed 10 sheep for the wedding and the party lasted two days.”
“We have the most amount of work in the spring since that’s when the calves are born,” says Chululuunkhu. “The children can help us since they’re on break. We teach them how to birth the babies. There are about 200 born. If they all stay alive until the summer, you’re sure to have a good year.”