Women’s Role within the Mongol Empire

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Women’s Role within the Mongol Empire The Mongols were nomadic people that lived in tribes in Asia during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The joining of numerous tribes would eventually form one of the biggest empires in history. With the lack of rain though the region, the Mongols did not have wide spread agriculture, instead they would herd sheep, cattle, goats, horses, and camels that thrived on the grasses and shrubs of the steppe lands where they lived. The Mongol tribes would travel with their herds to lands with copious amounts of grasses so their animals could graze. When their herds exhausted the vegetation, they would migrate to a new area. The tribes were self-sufficient, they not only lived off the meat, milk, and hides provided by their animals, but also used them for trade purposes. Despite the fact that the Mongols were nomadic people, they still utilized a caste system, of chieftains and khans that controlled the various tribes. The Mongols did not permit intermarrying within the clans, so abduction of women from other clans was not an unusual occurrence (Hartog 4). The stealing of woman however caused many conflicts between the different tribes. Although leaders of the tribes could have many wives, it was only the chief wife and her offspring that would inherit the tribe and continue the lineage after his death (Lane, Genghis Khan 4). The role that women played in the Mongol society was often a complex one. Mongol woman were often bought or stolen by their husbands. The women were often treated like property and used just like any other type of bartering tool. However during the rule of Genghis Khan, the women were not merely mothers and tent wives, they also enjoyed considerable power within the family ... ... middle of paper ... ...e or in the time since the Mongol empire, have women enjoyed so much power or influence over so many people (Weatherford, The Secret History) (Kindle Location 97). Works Cited Hartog, Leo de. Genghis Khan: Conqueror Of The World. London: Taurisparke Paperbacks, 2004. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 22 Feb. 2014. Lane, George. Daily life in the Mongol empire. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print. Lane, George. Genghis Khan and Mongol rule. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004. Print. Stearns, Peter N. Gender In World History. New York: Routledge, 2000. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 22 Feb. 2014. Weatherford, Jack. The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire. New York: Broadway, 2011. Kindle Edition. Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. New York: Crown, 2004. Print.

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