Birds of the Mongol Empire
Eugene N. Anderson
- Publisher: Society of Ethnobiology
Ethnoornithology, Mongol empire, Falconry, Zoomedicine, Medieval Asia | Human ecology. Anthropogeography | GF1-900
The Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known, had, among other things, a goodly number of falconers, poultry raisers, birdcatchers, cooks, and other experts on various aspects of birding. We have records of this, largely in the <em>Yinshan Zhengyao</em>, the court nutrition manual of the Mongol empire in China (the Yuan Dynasty). It discusses in some detail 22 bird taxa, from swans to chickens. The <em>Huihui Yaofang</em>, a medical encyclopedia, lists ten taxa used medicinally. Marco Polo also made notes on Mongol bird use. There are a few other records. This allows us to draw conclusions about Mongol ornithology, which apparently was sophisticated and detailed.