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Cultural Itineraries

Cultural Itineraries

Walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo, the journey through the former possessions of Genghis Khan.

Urbane Nomads offers luxury trips to some of most culturally rich destinations in the world, in remote locations, with groups of people who have done their best to preserve their ways of living. Some examples can be found below.

Luxury cultural journeys is a way to see a lot of fantastically varied natural areas of Mongolia: from the Gobi desert in the south to the vast mountainous and wooded areas of Arkhangai province. You will alternately spend the night in traditional round white nomadic yurts (ger) or in luxury fixed gers closer to Ulan Baatar. Sheep, goats, yaks, camels and horses- herding and animal husbandry still  remain the main livelihood of the majority of the population of this harsh country, where in winter the temperature drops to minus 50 degrees.

Kazakhs are descendants of Turkic, Mongolian and Indo-Iranian tribes and the Huns inhabited the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea. They are semi-nomadic people, and by the 19th century roamed the mountains and valleys of Western Mongolia with their herds. Ancient art of hunting with eagles is one of many traditions and skills that the Kazakhs, in recent decades have been able to retain. They rely on their clan and their herds, believing in the pre-Islamic cults sky ancestors, the fire and the supernatural forces of good and evil spirits. Ancient art of hunting with eagles is one of many Kazakh traditions. For more than two centuries, Kazakh men were hunting on horseback with trained golden eagles. Over the mountains and steppes, a variety of animals including rabbits, marmots, foxes and even wolves are hunted for their fur, which is an essential part of traditional Kazakh robes. Skill training of golden eagles is transmitted through generations. Hunters with eagles wear boots, black coats and hats of fox fur, called loovuuz. Kazakhs have a practice of oral tradition. They heavily rely on their clan and should remember at least seven generations back the names of their ancestors, so that “we should not forget where we came from.” In recent decades, the Mongol Kazakhs managed to keep their traditions and skills much more than their brethren in neighboring Kazakhstan. Festival of golden eagles, held in mid-October signals the start of the hunting season. This is a colorful and picturesque event attracting the best hunters and birds and important celebration for the community.

Kazakhs allow themselves to wear richly embroidered dress women wear bright headscarves (ah joules), and men wear caps (Tujia) or fox fur hats. Kazakh culture is very different from the Mongolian culture: even Kazakh saddles are different shapes. Many Kazakhs able to perform traditional music. Dombrata – lute with two strings and kobiza – bow instrument, which is played on the knees.

PASOLA FESTIVAL – adventures in Indonesia, SUMBA

Indonesia is an exotic destination with beautiful scenery and fascinating culture. It is located in Southeast Asia, located on the Malay archipelago between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is also the country with the fourth largest population in the world. Indonesia is an incredible and exotic world, embodying powerful volcanoes, dense equatorial forests and numerous cultures. Pasola is a thanks giving ceremony to the ancestral spirit of people from West Sumba East Nusa Tenggara where it is considered an honour to literally lose your blood during the games that are held. Blood has to be shed during these ceremonial games as the local belief has it that it would signal a bad year for the harvest season otherwise.

More than 60 horse riders into two teams – from two villages, participate in these games. Before they start, they prays in between of two groups. This ceremony happen only once in a year – beginning of February till end of March. The date could not be predicted in advance, it is always not in the same date every year as the dates are decided by the local shamans who use the movement of earthworms and the position of the moon to decide on the dates.