Yurt living, Part 2: Setting up a Kazakh Yurt


Greetings, my fellow readers!

In this post, I will try to summarize steps involved in setting up a traditional Kazakh (turkic) yurt.

Setting up the skeleton

Kerege (walls)

First of all, you’ll need a few people to connect the wings/kerege/walls together. It is important to identify the top and bottom of the kerege (wall section). In my case, the top had visible tool marks. Since the kerege is slightly curved, you have to make sure the curvature faces inside. Wall sections must overlap each other. It’s a tricky process at first, but once you get an idea, it gets¬†easier.


yurt wall

Wall sections should overlap each other

My yurt is 6m in diameter and has 8 kerege. Some yurts of this diameter have 6 walls.IMG_4274

Keep an eye on the diameter. and make sure that it is actually a circle! Once all sections of the walls are tied up and the door is attached, it should look like this:

Yurt kerege

Yurt kerege



Raising the Shanyrak

Once the walls are in place, you will need to raise the shanyrak up (compressed ring) and attach the uyks (roof poles). To raise a shanyrak, you can tie 4 poles together and use it as support. Getting poles ready to support the shanyrak looks like this:

Raising shanyrak

Yurt carcass

Now insert the rest of the roof poles and your yurt skeleton is done.


Unfortunately I don’t have the pictures of attaching the felt, and as a matter of fact, we did it all wrong! I will update this post once we fix all the felt issues. I will take pictures of the process. For now, it looks like this:


6m Shyrdak from Issyk-Kul

IMG_4297IMG_4299 IMG_4307

And here is a quick video of the set up.

I will update this post once we fix the felt part.

Thank you everyone who came over to help!

Sao Bol,