Yurts in Netflix’s “Marco Polo”

Greetings, my dear readers.

Ever since I started to learn about and live in the yurt, I can’t stop noticing them in my daily life. I started watching a new season of Marco Polo recently and couldn’t help but notice that the yurts they used for the shoot aren’t particularly accurate for the era.

You might have previously read my post about the basic differences between the the Mongolian yurt (Ger) and Turkic yurt. The major difference is the absence of the “bend” of the roof poles in ger construction. This leads to a lower structure and needing center posts to support the compression ring (tunduk, shanyrak, etc).

As the story goes (link to follow), while the Mongols were advancing to the West, they abandoned their original gers in favour of Turkic yurts, because they were lighter, roomier, and easier to transport. So I can definitely imagine a bunch of Kazakh/Kyrgyz  (Turkic) yurts in his camp.

However, the events described in the show are Kublai Khan’s journey to the South, towards China. So from my understanding, there would be no Turkic yurts in this case. Look at the pictures below:

Marco polo yurts

Turkic yurt to the right. Very distinctive curves and the structure of shanyrak.

Marco Polo netflix yurt

The same yurt is on the left.

Marco Polo netflix yurt

I find it exciting to see this many yurts, even if most of them are CGI.

Another thing that I couldn’t stop noticing throughout the second season is their main ger. Look at the kerege (walls). These are big the “diamonds” in the walls. The ones in Marco Polo look more like a modern construction from American yurt manufacturers.

When I was choosing the yurt, I learned that the size of the “diamond” in a well-built, more expensive yurt should only be big enough to allow one fist to come through. Cheaply built ones could fit 2 fists. Here, you can fit a head.

Kerege marco polo

Another funny thing I noticed: All of the competing ruling families reused the same yurts. The one below is a yurt in the Kaidu’s camp. But we’ve seen the same exact yurt in Kublai’s camp.

Marco polo turkic yurts

Out of all the yurts I saw in this show, the Turkic one is the only authentic one I could spot. Did you see other real yurts in the show?

Sao Bol.