Travel through Mongolia of two centuries ago


“Mongolia and Its People”, a documentary photography exhibition depicting the lifestyle of Mongolians between1870 and 1910, is on view at Gamma Art Gallery located on the second floor of Hunnu Mall until February 21.
The photographs are copies of photographs that are archived at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The exhibition is being organized in celebration of the 95th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Mongolia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren opened the exhibition on February 1. “President Ts.Elbegdorj, during his visit to Russia in 2011, initiated talks to get between copies of the photographs from the museum’s collection. I’m happy Russia and Mongolians can now see these photos,” he said. The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the Institute of History and Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences for publishing a pamphlet that explained the scientific and historic significance of the photographs.

The exhibition consists of black and white photographs of the Mongolian landscape, raw portraits, and buildings such as monasteries, huts and houses resembling classic Korean architecture. The pictures document the Mongolian lifestyle during the country’s transition to independence from China.

The photographs are a trip through Mongolia when yellow cranes and tall buildings didn’t define the city, but rather, horses and women with a hairstyle mirroring the wings of the KhanGaruda (a mythical bird). The story and folklore behind the Khan Garuda hairstyle is one of a cultural battle between Mongolians and the Manchurians. It is said that during the 1800s, Manchurian traders sold tulgas (iron hearths) with points shaped like the beaks of a crow. Mongolians believed the design had a hidden intention of attacking and disrupting the most sacred place in a household, the fire. In return, Mongolian men created a Khan Garuda hairstyle for women. The Khan Garuda is the mythological king of birds, so the hairstyle was a cultural counterattack to defeating crows.The hairstyle was worn by women, as they are named the keepers of the household fire.

Photo source: Artavenue.mn

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