This morin khuur (traditional Mongolian stringed instrument) is made of carved wild goat bone, with horse hair strings. It took B.Altanchimeg over a year to collect and carve the bones.
April 9th, Tsatsral Erdenebileg broke the world record for holding the “Marinelli bend” for two minutes and thirty four seconds, supporting herself with her teeth. My teeth hurt just looking at this.
The previous record, 50 seconds, was held by a different Mongolian contortionist, Oyungerel Luvsandorj. Mongolia has several schools that teach contortion, and it is a well-respected art form there.
Suekhbaatar, Mongolia — I was wandering an hour or so outside the town of Baruun Urt, and I saw a nomad riding by. I waved to him and he trotted up. His name was Taava, friendly guy. Invited me to his yurt for dinner. The family had just slaughtered a goat.
After dinner I went with him to water his horses.
Mongolia is horse country, and Mongolians are good horsemen. Some foreigners who come to Mongolia also dream of adventures with horses. Alas, the foreigners are often not such good horsemen.
I met one traveler who had bought a pack horse and planned to spend a month trekking around Mongolia with his horse. He’d bought all his provisions and was just finishing packing everything on the animal — all his food, camping supplies, everything he needed for a month. He was nearly done packing and was tightening the straps, and then suddenly something fell off the load, and the horse got spooked and took off running. That guy ran after the horse but couldn’t catch it, of course. He never saw it again. Lost everything, all his food, all his luggage and, of course, the horse itself.
But it was a lucky day for some poor nomad somewhere out on the steppe!
Flag outside a shopt selling incense, charms, and prayer flags. Darkhan, Mongolia.
The khiimori (wind horse) symbolizes the human spirit.
The giant Genghis Khan face carved into a hill south of Ulaanbaatar.
A ceremony is scheduled today to formally return this stolen Tyrannosaurus baatar skeleton to Mongolia from the United States. It is illegal to remove dinosaur skeletons from Mongolia without government permission, but many looters and smugglers do anyway. The skeleton will be put on display at a new dinosaur museum in Ulaanbaatar. Tyrannosaurus baatar is related to Tyrannosaurus rex, but has even shorter, goofier arms.
(Source: The New York Times)
500 Tugrik, Mongolian Coin
I’ve never seen this. I would be super happy, if someone send me this :)
I didn’t see any Mongolian coins when I was there. This one is fucking rad though.
This is a fancy pure silver proof coin sold by the National Bank of Mongolia to coin collectors. They make a new design each year, 2011 was the Ural Owl (Хув ууль). You can probably find one on ebay, but not cheap.
You can see pictures of regular mongolian coins and this year’s fancy collector coins on the National Bank of Mongolia site.
Deer at the Ger, South Mongolia
Five in the morning in the Gobi desert and we stopped at this family’s ger to get some airag. (Airag is the fermented mare’s milk.) I saw this fawn amongst the sheep but couldn’t get an explanation why.
Our vehicle, a problematic Chinese-brand Grand Tiger pick-up truck, ran out of diesel a hundred kilometers later and we were stranded for six or seven hours with only our delicious, alcoholic horse milk to nurture us.