airagairag
airag

Hunnu, like any other nomads, consumed animal originated products. In addition, they did hunting, fishing and grew their food. Zhonghan Yue of Han dynasty who surrendered to the Hunnu wrote “Hunnu people eat meat, drink milk and make clothes from animal skin”. It was said that Hunnu milk and Airag are better than Chinese food. Airag is an original Mongolian word. It was recorded that Chinese lord Li ling who surrendered to Hunnu and Chinese envoy Su Wu ate mutton and drunk yogurt. Another source cited that in 11 year BC, Chinese defeated the Hunnu and they broke Hunnu’s ger-carts and burnt aaruul (dried curds). It was written in the History of Hunnu, the amazing historical textbook that “a warrior who captures enemy or who cuts the enemy’s head, will be rewarded with a cup of vodka”. According to this, Hunnu people processed airag and yogurt to distill vodka. A pot with pores on the bottom was found in one of Hunnu graves and it might have served as a colander. It gets that Hunnu consumed mare’s milk, dried curds and dairy-distilled vodka. Noyon-Uul burial excavation revealed numerous lacquered pots. These kinds of findings that are made of organic materials are very rare and contain priceless information of scientific interest. I guess these pots were used to process and store food and beverage. Airag is a perfect beverage that was created by nomads. Airag satisfy the needs for liquid, food, health maintenance and recreation. This beverage is substantial contribution to civilization by the nomads. Airag prevents and cures such diseases like scorbutic and tuberculosis.

sdujin

Because Hunnu people ate meat, dairy products and grains, we can say that their diet supports normal quality of life. Such diet provides enough protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and salt. Meat and milk from different animals have different nutritional contents. For example, camel’s milk is very different from that of cow or mare. Camel’s milk has more bactericides (ability to kill bacteria), and nutrition so it has more ability to cure. Animal products offer more ingredients than vegetarian products. It is true that the meat from an animal contains “entire supermarket”. Our ancestors ate not only grazing animals but also used fish a lot in their diet. Study of warrior’s hair that was found in Noyon-Uul grave, concluded that 60% of his diet consisted of fish. Several clay vases were found in excavations of Hunnu graves in Mongolia and its neighbouring countries. They were about lm tall, with open rims, narrow necks, broad shoulders, narrow bellies and small bottoms. They have patterns on the surface and a square hollow on the bottom. The hollow is explained as an evidence of using wheel to produce the vases. Two of the large vases had holes in about 1 cm above their bottoms and it is the evidence that the vases were used to store grains. Therefore, Hunnu grew grains along with their animal husbandry. In addition, there are a number of records that suggest Hunnu people grew grains. “Chinese envoy Su Wu was kept in grain storage. In 80 BC, Hunnu’s grain did not ripen”. Furthermore, some Hunnu graves had grain seeds, plow part etc. The main growing areas were in the valleys of Orkhon and Kherlen rivers.

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