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Leonid Ochir-Goryaev, About Camels

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Leonid talks about the Kalmyk species of camel. According to him, the Kalmyk camel differs from other camels in terms of its large size. A male camel may weigh a ton and a female up to 800 kilograms. The female is pregnant for 12 months. Camel wool is used to produce belts that are good for rheumatism. Camel meat is also believed to have dietary properties. Its hump weighs 10 kilograms and its fat can be used in food. Camel’s milk is also good for cancer. A female camel gives one to two liters of milk. In the past, camel’s milk was used to make kumis (a fermented drink). Camels rarely fall sick and are easy to keep. They eat grass and prickly vegetation. Camels have a good memory and always return home. In the past, Kalmyks used them as transportation animals. During the Napoleonic War the Kalmyk soldiers rode on these animals. Sometimes a mother camel becomes upset and rejects her calf. In order to make her accept her offspring, nomads sing her songs, after which she accept her calf. Kalmyks have songs and sayings about camels.



Camel, species

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin