Pastoral Dairying in Rural Mongolia
Microbes as Heritage
Keywords:Dairy, Pastoralism, Mongolia, Starter Cultures, Microbes, Heritage
In this photo essay, I illustrate ethnographic encounters with dairying practices and dairy microbes in various regions of Mongolia. Drawing on fieldwork conducted during two consecutive summers, this essay focuses on the sociocultural role of microbial starter cultures in producing diverse dairy products (such as fermented mare’s milk) and in cross-generational knowledge transfer. The Mongolian word for starter culture is khöröngö, which also means capital and heritage. In this context, a sociocultural anthropological approach sheds new light on starter cultures as mobile entities of value across space and time.
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