In northeast Asia for centuries there have been the Mongols, a nomadic group of people. They have been known for the great hospitality they offer. Upon the guests’ arrival, there are traditional offerings and treats served. In the summer it is dairy products and in the winter it is meat.
The major ethnic group, about 90 percent, of Mongols are the Khalkha, an essential item in Mongol genealogy. Others minor groups in numbers are the Buryats, Durbet Mongols and Dairiganga Mongols.
Horses represent a long tradition in the daily life. The Mongols have the only remaining horse-based cultures left in the world, Mongolians greatly cherish their horses. Nomadic families follow a seasonal routine, moving the herds of stock animals (cattle, sheep, camels) to new grazing land based on the time of year, rather than one of aimless wandering.
Being very local to their homeland and family is a major trait. The actual home, a ger, is a portable dwelling made of wood lashed together with leather thongs and covered with felt. It is easy to erect and dismantle, the ger, its furnishings, and the stove inside can be carried by just three camels, or wagons pulled by yaks.
Most of the people practice the Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Lamaism. It is a ritualistic religion with a large number of gods and goddesses. This inspired the creation of religious objects including images in Mongol paintings and sculptures.
The Mongol language is that of Khalkha Mongolian. There are various dialects spoken across the region. In recent times the Russian (Cyrillic) alphabet has been used to place the language in a more usable form.
In examining Mongol genealogy, some of their customs involve certain superstitions; such as not talking about negative things, or by individuals that are often talked about. To protect against any misfortune, young children’s foreheads are sometimes painted with charcoal or soot in order to deceive evil spirits that this is not a child, but rather a rabbit with black hair on the forehead.
They always enjoy big public festivals. For the Mongol family the New Year is the Tsagaan Sar festival. Family members and friends visit each other and exchange presents.
There is a very old musical tradition. The traditional throat-singing, the Morin Khuur and other string instruments are blended with various songs. Many of their dances and songs are used to expel evil spirits.
Mostly meat and dairy products are the staple foods for the Mongols. The main meats are mutton, camel meat and some beef. The milk comes from yaks, cattle, horses and camels. The beverage consumed is tea.
Their clothing is the deel or kaftan, which is a long, loose gown cut in one piece with the sleeves; it has a high collar and widely overlaps at the front. The deel is girdled with a sash. In addition to the deel, both men and women might wear loose trousers beneath, and women might also wear underskirts. Each various ethnic division within the Mongols design their own distinguished deel using different trim and colors.< Return To Culture