Traditional Mongolian Costumes
I am not an expert in traditional Mongolian costumes but they certainly speak of Mongolia's rich ethnic diversity and traditions. I am going to borrow from the real expert in Mongolian costumes Yadamsuren, N.
of the Mongols has a rich history and an artistic tradition of many centuries. It is closely connected with the way of life of the Mongolian people, with the specific features of their economic system and with the natural conditions of the country.
The costumes must meet the most different situations of life, whether, for example, somebody is riding on horseback over the steppe, whether he is sitting at home in his yurt (felt tent), or whether he is dancing at a national festival. The different conditions of climate, too, influence the kind of dresses worn; thus costumes have been developed that are intended for the different seasons of the year.
In summer the Mongols wear a light coat or frock, the "Törlök", in autumn and winter a wadded coat, the "Khovontei Dööl", or a lambskin coat, the "Khurgan Dotortoi Dööl", in winter a sheepskin dress reminding of a fur coat, the "Tsagaan Nökhi Dööl".
The age of the wearer, too, is reflected by the dress. The costumes of elderly people are, as a rule, modest and plain, while young people prefer gay, stylish clothes.
The female dress shows differences between the attire of the girls and of married women. The costumes of the latter are decorated and adorned more splendidly.
Studies of the history of dress and costume, their variations and kinds with the various national groups within the framework of one nation will contribute to better understanding the process of cultural evolution, in particular of folk art, and are a valuable aid to ethnographic researches.
On the basis of the rich traditions of Mongolian culture, the contemporary masters and folk artists are making use of the heritage that has come down to us from many centuries, and are creating new models of national costume.
Of old tradition are the ornaments on the dresses, each garment displaying a definite and strictly observed type of ornament which, as already said before, has a symbolism entirely of its own. Interesting is the colour scale of Mongolian costume. The national costumes were chiefly brown and dark blue.
As is well known, Mongolia is inhabited by various national groups, such as the Khalka, Buryat, Dörbet, Torgut, Barga, Dariganga, Uzumchin, Bayit, Uryankhaits, Khoton, and Mingat groups, the Sakhchins, Darkhats, Ölöts, and Kazakhs. Of course, the national peculiarities will be reflected by the clothes.
The differences between the dresses of the various national groups refer to the design, the colour, the style, and the ornaments. Different are, for example, the borders of the coats, the style of the waistcoats worn over the coats, the trimmings at the edges of the borders, the adornments and ornaments.
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