At the heart of the nomadic way of life and thought is a cosmic vision of the world. It is a world view in which that which ‘lives' is not simply that which can be ‘seen'. There is no irreducible difference between the mineral, vegetable, human, and animal worlds, any more than there is any break between the world of the dead and that of the living, the visible universe and that of the spirits. Man is part of the cosmos and his human nature does not give him any particular right over living beings or the dead. The entire universe is living and everything that is, lives according to a force that inhabits it.

Shamanism is closely related to Mongolian nomadic culture. The tribes in Mongolia followed shamanism from the times of the Great Huns until the formation of the Uighur Empire. According to the Secret History of the Mongols, and other historic sources, shamanism was the state religion until the introduction of Buddhism. Shamanism reflects the Mongolian feeling towards the Mother Nature. For this reason shamans performed rituals of worshipping the master of mountains, water, sky and land. Some of these traditions, mixed with oral literature, folklore and symbolism, are to this day very important components of Mongolian nomadic culture.  Even the form of Buddhism practiced in Mongolia has strong shamanistic roots.

Livestock Herding, the main source of the nomadic lifestyle, is another important trait of Mongolian culture. Mongolians have a history of raising and caring for their livestock. Horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and camels are praised as the "five treasures". Horses are considered the "emeralds" and are highly respected among the people. Thousands of teachings, sayings, proverbs, tales, epics, songs, and dances have been created in praise of the "five treasures'. The synergistic relationship between the nomad, animals, and the land are crucial in the preservation and sustenance of all parties.