VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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13Story

28 October 2016
National Museum of Mongolia - Mongolian Traditional Culture
 Home      
|  Prehistory of Mongolia |  Ancient States    
|  Traditional Clothing and Jewelry |  Mongolian Empire |  Traditional Culture of Mongolia |  Traditional Life of Mongolia
|  17-Early 20th Century Mongolia  |  Socialist Mongolia 1921-1900 |  Democratic Mongolia 1990-  

 

Mongolian Traditional Culture

Traditional Mongolian culture is tied to the nomadic lifestyle. Explore the items of spiritual importance, manuscripts, scriptures, musical instruments, games and toys, and the national festival, known as 'Erin gurban nadaam'.

 

Buddhism

Buddhism became Mongolia's state religion for the third time in the 16th century. In 1639, Mongolia became an independant religious state, with the first Bogd Gegeen Zanabazar (1635-1723) as its leader. Zanabazar translated Buddhist sutras from Tibetan to mongolian wrote poetry, and developed a new alphabet, known as the Soyombo script.

     See related VCM Masterpieces

      1. Amitabha / Chojin Lama Temple Museum
      2. Eight Medicine Buddhas / Chojin Lama Temple Museum
 
 
 

Soyombo Script

In 1686, when the Manchu empire threatened the freedom of the Mongolian people, the first Bogd Zanabazar invented the Soyombo script. This horizontal, square script was based on ancient Indian writing of Brahman origin. From analysis of written scripts, it is clear that this script was used for the three 'holy' languages of that period; Mongolian, Tibetan and Sanskrit, each of which at some time swerved as a literary language for the scholoars of Mongolia. There are 90 characters in the Soyombo alphabet. The first symbolises a Buddhist blessing, bestowed by hand.

     See related VCM Masterpieces

      1. Bogd Khaan's long jacket / Bogd Palace Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Shaman's Costume

Cloth, silk, metal, wood, eagle feather, skins, and claws

This elaborate shaman's costume has numerous stuffed tubular strips of material that represent snakes, some with coral beads for eyes. A brass mirror serves as a reflective weapon against demonic, supernatural forces. Skins of small animals, eagle feathers and even bird claws highlight the connection between the shaman and the natural world.

 

     See related VCM Masterpiece

      1. A Shaman's Costume / National Museum of Mongolia

 

 

                                                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Morin Khuur

This stringed musical instrument derives its name from the horse-head decoration that adorns its top. The 'horsehead fiddle' is very common throughout Mongolia, kept and valued by nomadic families. Although it is adaptable to many styles of music, it is typically used to play Mongolian traditional songs and melodies. It has a trapezoidal sound-box made of wood, and the horsehead is usually painted green. The strings are made of hair from a horse's tail, boiled and stretched to the requred length. In addition to the morin khuur, swan-head fiddles, lion-headed fiddles and dragon-head fiddles can also be found.

 

     See related VCM Masterpiece

      1. Old Story Teller / Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery

      2. Black fiddle/Khar khuur / Mongolian Theatre Museum 

 

 

 

 

Anklebone Game

For centuries, Mongolians have played many different games with the ankle bones (shagain yas) of livestock such as sheep, goats and cows. A set of four bones can be used to divine the future or to play a 'horse race' game, while a set with many pieces can be used in a manner similar to the game of marbles. In some areas of Mongolia, ox anklebones thrown at a target on the ice during the winter.

 

 

 

 

Wooden Puzzles

Mongolian puzzles generally consist of 4,6, or 8 small pieces.

Similar puzles are found throughout the world.

 

 Home      
|  Prehistory of Mongolia |  Ancient States    
|  Traditional Clothing and Jewelry |  Mongolian Empire |  Traditional Culture of Mongolia |  Traditional Life of Mongolia
|  17-Early 20th Century Mongolia  |  Socialist Mongolia 1921-1900 |  Democratic Mongolia 1990-  

 

 

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