Bodhidharma: The Original Daruma

Daruma are an interesting tradition in Japan, and their roots in Zen Buddhism are not to be overlooked. Since my original post on the Daruma Festival, I’ve been reading more and more about the doll, its tradition, symbolism, and connection to the figure Bodhidharma and decided that another post to sort out my thoughts was […]

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Kazakh Crafts

Mongolia has a very large Kazakh population, mostly concentrated in the western aimags of Khovd, Uvs, and particularly in Bayan-Ulgii. They bring with them their own unique culture and outlook on life, as well as a treasure trove of traditions. Aside from the well-known tradition of eagle hunting [link], their handiwork is probably their most […]

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Traditional Mongolian Symbols

There are many patterns and symbols present in Mongolian life that have existed in the country for hundreds of years. You see them everywhere: On clothes, cookies, doorways, buildings, etc. Knowing what they mean and why they are put where they are can give you a rare insight into the inner workings of Mongolian culture. […]

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The Soyombo

The Soyombo has its roots in the rule of Zanabazar. During his reign, he created his own alphabet system, known as Soyombo. The modern Soyombo symbol, as we know it now, was actually the first letter in Zanabazar’s script. It was adopted by the new Mongolian government in 1911. Each part of the Soyombo has […]

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