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‘Snuff Bottles and Their Pouches’

By M.OYUNGEREL

“Khuurug Daalin” (Snuff Bottles and Their Pouches) is on view at the National Museum of Mongolia until March 6.
A total of 86 snuff bottles and 16 snuff bottle pouches from the museum’s archive are being presented as part of the Tsagaan Sar-themed exhibition.
The Manchurians introduced snuff and the snuff bottle to Mongolia in the 18th century. Mongolians then created a whole culture from snuff and the bottle for it. Mongolians started exchanging snuff bottles to greet and show respect in the beginning of the 18th century. Using traditional nomadic craftsmanship, embroidered pouches for the snuff bottles were created as well.
Mongolians used to make snuff bottles from raw materials not native to Mongolia, such as amber, wood, and coral, when the bottles were first introduced. Later, they started using the abundant local sources of agate and chalcedony to create the bottles. The exhibition displays snuffle bottles made from a variety of materials, chalcedony, agate, mother of pearl, coral, aventurine, amber, glass, china, tusk, wood, gold, silver, bronze, and brass.
The museum is also home to snuff bottles that once belonged to famous figures. The collection includes bottles owned by one of the co-founders of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, scientist and politician Ts.Jamsrannorov’s silver snuff bottle; former Prime Minister B.Tserendorj’s agate-striped chalcedony snuff bottle with a coral cap; and a blue chalcedony snuff bottle with a moss agate cap that changed hands with many powerful wrestlers, such as Undur Gongor, the tallest man in Mongolia, who measured 2.36 meters.
The largest snuff bottle in the exhibition is 14.7 centimeters tall and 10.8 centimeters wide, weighing 575 grams. The smallest is one for a child and is 3.5 centimeters tall and 2.4 centimeters wide, weighing 15 grams.
Visit the exhibition to see the intricate carvings, etchings, and stripes on the snuff bottles, as well as the varying sizes, textures, and colors of the beautifully embroidered pouches.

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Posted by on Feb 17 2016. Filed under Arts & Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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