"National Museum of Mongolia"


Musei zuragThe National Museum of Mongolia


A brief history of the National Museum of Mongolia Mongolia’s first museum was opened to the public in 1924. The collections started at that time were for a national museum, whose building no longer exists. In the socialist period, all collections of historical, ethnographical, natural history and paleontological were housed in the building of the State Central Museum, which was built in 1956. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mongolia began to transform toward democratic policies and an open-market economy and as a result of those changes, the management of museums was redeveloped and some earlier museums were reopened. In 1991, the National Museum of Mongolian History was established by merging the collections of two museums: the State Central Museum and Museum of Revolution. In 2008, the National Museum of Mongolian History was elevated in status to a national museum hence our current name. The present building of the National Museum of Mongolia was built in 1971, when it was constructed as the Museum of Revolution. A significant responsibility for preserving Mongolian cultural heritage lies with NMM. On display are historical, ethnographical and cultural objects ranging from Mongolia’s ancient past, dating back to around 800 000 years ago, to the end of the 20th century, allowing the public cultural and educational opportunities to experience first-hand how Mongolians lived in historical times. The museum storage facility additionally holds over 50 000 historical and ethnographical objects.The historical collection is subdivided into 3 areas: archaeological; medieval history of Mongolia; and modern historical objects and photography, recordings, and documents. The ethnographical collection is subdivided into jewellery and accessories; costumes; musical instruments; kitchen tools; Mongolian ger and furnishings; animal husbandry equipment; and religious items relating to Shamanism and Buddhism.

Монголын Үндэсний Музейн Зургаа дугаар танхим: УЛАМЖЛАЛТ АЖ АХУЙ, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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Stone tool (Paleolithic Period (800,000 – 120,000 BCE))The National Museum of Mongolia

NMM and its collaborations

In its role as a research institute NMM reaches out to the academic community and welcomes their research contributions to our current knowledge of Mongolian culture. NMM has implemented several different projects related to scientific research projects in cooperation with domestic and foreign museums, universities, and institutions. NMM cooperates with the National Museum of Korea, the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institute, the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the East Tennessee University. NMM is member of the International Council of Museums and the Association of Asian National Museums. NMM has 80 employees and is supported through admission fees and government funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Museum of Statehood History housed across the road in Parliament House is also under jurisdiction the of NMM. Additionally, as the leading museum of Mongolia, NMM is responsible for providing methodological training and theoretical guidance to all other government-owned museums.Since the 1990s NMM collections have been displayed in 30 exhibitions held in 18 countries around the world.

Stone tool
The Paleolithic was the earliest part of the Stone Age, when early human beings made chipped-stone tools.Ancient man also used bones, horns and the incisors of large animals as tools. The oldest prehistoric artefacts in Mongolia are the stone tools found in Tsagaan agui or White Cave in Bayanhongor aimag, which date back to nearly 800,000 BCE.

Necklace (Neolithic (4000 - 3000 BCE))The National Museum of Mongolia


During the Neolithic period, people began to bury the dead by placing them in a seated position in special underground holes, reflecting their belief in an afterlife. Such burial sites have been found in the eastern part of Mongolia.

Deer Stone by Ulaanbaatar, MongoliaThe National Museum of Mongolia

Deer Stone

In the middle of the 1st hall, the Museum has a replica Deer Stone that Museum archaeologists made in 2004 from an original that is kept in Uushigiin uvur, Burentogtokh sum, Khuvsgul aimag. Deer Stones are a type of monument first seen in parts of Eurasia during the late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Since their initial identification around 100 years ago, scholars have found a total of 900 Deer Stones. Approximately ninety per cent of all the registered Deer Stone monuments are located within the territory of Mongolia, as it is the nucleus of these monuments and the centre from which they spread. A well-cut, long, oblong stone with its surface area divided horizontally into three bands: in the upper section are depicted images of the sun and moon; while in the middle section there are mainly deer, leaping and flying. The lower part is decorated with carvings of knives, swords, bows and quivers, battle-axes, whetstones, hooks, mirrors and so on. Some examples of these Deer Stones have a carved human head and face in the upper section. The tallest Deer Stone is about 4 metres high,  the shortest measures about 40 cm high.

Bronze dagger, Bronze Age 1200 - 900 BCE, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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Bronze Age 3000 – 700 BCE Bronze dagger 44 x 3.7 cm Bronze Age 1200 - 900 BCE Khovd aimag During the Bronze Age, animal-patterned artefacts were widespread throughout Eurasia. The handle of this dagger - ending in the shape of a wild mountain sheep’s head - is the classic animal style found in Bronze Age Mongolia. Representations in the animal style, amongst them rams, ibex, and argal wild sheep, go back as far as Stone Age rock paintings. This artefact is registered on the Mongolian National Treasures list.

Bronze cauldron, Early Iron Age (700 - 400 BCE), From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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Bronze cauldron Early Iron Age (700 - 400 BCE) near the Kharmaan River, Khuvsgul aimag, in 2003 Numerous bowl-shaped bronze cauldrons were found in South Siberia so it is likely that this type of cauldron originated from the Scythian culture which dates to 7th - 5th centuries. Similar ancient cauldrons have been found throughout central Asia, Mongolia and northern China. The earliest of these is dated to the 8th century and originated in China. They then spread to the west as the Eurasian people settled near the Black Sea. During the Hunnu period, bowl-shaped cauldrons were popularly used in Mongolia and commonly found in Hunnu burials. In archaeological research this type of cauldron is therefore called the Hunnu cauldron.

Fire-making tool (0300)The National Museum of Mongolia


The  archaeological  artefacts  of  this  hall  relate  to  the history  and  culture  of  the  political  entities  that  were established from the  3rd century BCE onwards. The first powerful empire was established  by  the  Hunnu  (3rd century BCE – 1st century CE), which was succeeded by the  Turk,  Uighur  and  later  the  Khidan  Empire  (6th – 12th century CE).

Felt carpet from the Hunnu Empire (Hunnu period (3rd century BCE – 1st century CE))The National Museum of Mongolia

Hunnu period (3rd century BCE – 1st century CE)
Noyon Mountain, Batsumber sum, Tuv aimag
Noyon Uul (mountain) is known as a sacred burial place for Hunnu aristocrats. Russian archaeologists have discovered about 200 Hunnu tombs in this area. One of the unearthed tombs was an aristocrat’s tomb, which consisted of a wooden coffin placed in a wooden chamber that was located about 8 -10 metres underground and kept in a frozen state. In the tomb, an exquisite felt carpet was discovered along with many other artefacts. However, the carpet was cut into two pieces when it was found. One half of the carpet is now on display in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The carpet is a unique example of ancient nomadic art. In its original form, the carpet was covered with red silk and fringed with dark brown silk; onto the red silk, geometric designs and nine trees were embroidered, and between these trees, 18 animals were depicted fighting in pairs. The animal figures were cut separately and sewn onto the carpet with woolen threads. These figures are assumed to be bulls, deer, fantastic tiger-like animals with manes and a bird-like being.

Монголын Үндэсний Музейн ХҮННҮ ГҮРЭНThe National Museum of Mongolia

VaseThe National Museum of Mongolia


This type of vase has frequently been found in graves dated to the Hunnu period. The vase has a narrow flaring mouth, which has been chipped and restored. Its shoulder is decorated with a wavy line pattern. The vase is made of coarse-grained grey clay and polished. The imprint on the underside suggests that the vase was made by using a potter’s wheel. Some parts of the vase are made of thin clay; there is a hole in the bottom for ventilation. Animal meat and grains were placed inside the vase as a symbolic offering of food for the afterlife. This vase is one of the biggest vases known from the Hunnu period.

golden crownThe National Museum of Mongolia

Golden Crown

In its centre the crown has a phoenix - a mythical sacred firebird which is holding a precious stone in its mouth. Along with the phoenix, the crown is decorated with a plant motif.  The crown has 14 holes which were, presumably, inlaid with precious stones.

Turkic period, 7th century CE
Width: 25.7 cm; height: 9.8 cm; weight: 81 g
Khoshoo Tsaidam, Khashaat sum, Arkhangai aimag in 2001

Deer-shaped silver ornament (Turkic period, 7th century CE)The National Museum of Mongolia

Deer-shaped silver ornament

This decorative ornament reflects the nomad tradition of worshipping deer during the Turkish period. This perfectly proportioned ornament displays a deer with large eyes, pointed ears and large antlers. Its body is engraved with fur and flower patterns demonstrating the skills of fine craftsmanship of the time. The pegs on the bottoms of hooves suggest that the ornament originally had a standing base.

Deer-shaped silver ornament Turkic period, 7th century CE Gilded silver height: 16 cm; weight: 243 g Bilge Khan’s offering place - Khoshoo Tsaidam, Khashaat sum, Arkhangai aimag in 2001

Stone Statue Head (Turkic period, 6th - 8th CE)The National Museum of Mongolia

Kultegin, (685 - 731 CE). A Turkic prince & military general

In 1958 a Mongolian and Czechoslovakian joint expedition ventured out to dig out Kultegin’s monument complex in the Khoshoo tsaidam site. It was here that they found buried, Kultegin’s statue’s head, broken in two pieces and a piece of his wife’s statue’s face. 

Stone Statue Head
Turkic period, 6th - 8th CE
Marble replica
40 cm x 19cm x 21.5cm
Khashaat sum, Arkhangai aimag

There is a bird featured on the front of his crown, his face has a gentle expression, his thick lips are closed and he wears small ring earrings.

Монголын Үндэсний Музейн Шонх таван тогойн хүн чулуу, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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Mongol boots (1990)The National Museum of Mongolia


On display here are the costumes of Mongolia’s ethnic groups together with state ceremonial attire, seasonal dress, jewellery and accessories. Mongolia has more than 20 ethnic groups originating from two nationalities: Mongolian and Turkish. Most of the items displayed date  from the 19th or 20th century,  though  the  origin  of many  ethnic  groups  can  be  traced  back  to  the  13th century.

Khalkh married woman’s headdressThe National Museum of Mongolia

huvtsasThe National Museum of Mongolia

Uzemchin married woman’s headdressThe National Museum of Mongolia

Uzemchin married woman’s headdress

Silver, coral, amber, turquoise  and lapis lazuli ’Shuren tatuurga’ or coral headdress: The headband of black cotton bears eleven silver plaques cleverly fitted together and is decorated with red coral beads and coloured enamels in yellow, turquoise, lapis blue, and amber. Below the headband is an intricate network of small coral, silver, and turquoise beads, beneath which is yet another, even finer, fringe of similar 

Mongol boots (1990)The National Museum of Mongolia

Mongol boots (Mongol gutal)
These boots with their characteristic upturned toe are most often made of brown leather with green leather detail, a felt sole and are still common among Mongolians. Patterns such as the ulzii, a symbol of longevity, often adorn the boots and the number of patterns is significant. For example, men would have 8, 12, 14, 16 or 32 patterns on their boots. Patterns called zuu orooh (embroidery) are found on boots made for kings and queens.

Mongolian ger (1800)The National Museum of Mongolia


In the 13th and 14th centuries Mongolians conquered more than fifty countries and united almost half of the world’s population. They occupied territories  from Siberia to South Asia,  from the Korean Peninsula to Bulgaria. This exhibition hall presents the Great Mongolian State 1206 - 1260 and the Mongolian Empire, which consisted of : the Golden Horde State, Tsagadai Khanate, Il Khanate and the Yuan Dynasty.This hall also introduces visitors to the ancient capital Kharkhorum and to battle equipment, armour and ceremonial banners of  the Mongolian Empire. The origin and development of  Mongolia’s unique national culture and heritage is here illustrated through chronological displays of more than 300 historical, cultural objects. The end of this hall holds portraits of  Chinggis Khan, Ogodei Khan and Khubilai Khan.

Монголын Үндэсний Музейн Дөрөвдүгээр танхим: МОНГОЛЫН ЭЗЭНТ ГҮРЭН, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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Black Banner, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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Black Banner
Horse tail, bronze, wood 19th century
The Black Banner was the khan’s battlefield banner, standing for the power of the “Everlasting Blue Heaven,” which can concentrate and mobilise the spirit and power of all Mongols to defeat their enemies at any time in all directions. Folk stories mention that the Black Banner would be raised when the khan was at war.

White Banner, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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White Banner The White Banner is also called ‘Yisun Kholt Tsagaan Tug’ or Peace Banner. It is mentioned in many historical works on the Mongols. The White Banner was raised during times of peace or in a place away from war. From ancient times until the present day, Mongolians have presented offerings to the White Banner. The main part of the White Banner is made from the tails of white mares. The main white banner is surrounded by eight banners. The offering ceremony to the White Banner was held during a grand ceremony once every three years. Since the 19th century this ceremony is part of the annual Naadam celebration.

Secret History of the MongolsThe National Museum of Mongolia

Secret History of the Mongols

This is the first literary document concerning the Mongols. It is an invaluable treasure for historians, linguists, ethnographers and ethnologists engaged in the field of oriental studies. It is believed to have been written in the year 1240. The identity of the author still remains unknown. The copy of the Secret History of the Mongols, which has survived to modern times, was transcribed in Chinese characters from some original manuscript in one of the Mongolian scripts. Some scholars believe it to have been in the Uighur script, others proposed Pags-pa script, and only a few think that it was originally recorded in Chinese characters. This copy was written in about the 14th century and contained Mongolian text (in Chinese phonetic transcription) and the Chinese translation. The first European to discover this manuscript was the Russian sinologist Palladij. In 1866 he translated the Chinese part of the Secret History into Russian - with considerable shortening. The name of this work in the Russian translation was “An Old Mongolian Tale about Chinggis Khan”. After that, the full text of the Secret History was  was published by S. A. Kozin in Leningrad (1941), E. Haenisch in Berlin (1948), and P. Pelliot in Paris (1949). Other important works were the dictionary of the language used in The Secret History of the Mongols (E. Haenisch, 1962) and the index to the manuscript compiled by Igor De Rachewiltz (1972).

Armored boots (15th - 16th century)The National Museum of Mongolia

Armored boots

Leather, textiles15th - 16th century Khangai sum, Arkhangai aimag  In 1953, Samdan a local museum staff member collected these soldier’s plated boots from Dashragcha - an old woman of Khangai sum, Arkhangai aimag. For generations the soldiers in Dashragcha’s family had worn the armored boots - the first man to use them was from seven generations before her. During the people’s government, Dashragcha distributed the plates from the boots to several local men who were conscripted into the military. The boots are made of calfskin, which was imported from central Asia, and quilted textiles to make the sole. The boots have high sides with ties, which were connected to the trouser belt.

Khugshin Teel monument (1275)The National Museum of Mongolia

Khugshin Teel monument

Stone 1275Khugshin Teel.  Hairhan dulaan, Uvurhangai aimagThis monument bearing Chinese inscription describes the building of a fortified city by Khubilai Khan’s soldiers during the period when Khubilai and Arigbuh were fighting for kingship. The castle was named ‘Suriig badruulagch tsergiin hot’ but locals call it the Ruins of Khugshin Teel. It was discovered by the Russian explorer P. Kozlov in 1926.  It is known that a monument bearing a Chinese inscription was set up in the fifteenth year of Khubilai Khan’s Yuan Dynasty, giving a date for the foundation of the castle of 1275.

Letter of peace sent from IL Khan Ulziit to Louis Phillipe, the King of France (13th - 14th century)The National Museum of Mongolia

Letter of peace sent from IL Khan Ulziit to Louis Phillipe, the King of France 

Paper, ink13th - 14th century. This letter of peace was written in 42 lines of ancient Mongolian script, on long, narrow paper. The content of the letter is as follows: “Ulziit Sultan of IL Khanate informed the European kings that he had established peace within his state, quashed the internal conflicts, and resolved to stand against foreign intruders with joint force, but he also expressed his wish to strengthen peace with those countries.” This letter was sent to Louis Philippe, King of France in 1304 -1305.

A shaman’s costume (2000)The National Museum of Mongolia


This hall discusses and illustrates aspects from traditional Mongolian culture that are tied in with the nomadic lifestyle: items of spiritual importance - manuscripts, scriptures and their production; musical instruments; games and toys; and the national festival “Eriin gurban nadaam”.

originated during ancient times, alongside the first human artistic concepts of fetishism, totemism, animism and others. It has been the religion of Central Asian nomads for thousands of years. Modern Mongolians have inherited ancient shaman traditions and continue to practice the rituals as an annual ceremony.

Bell and thunderboltThe National Museum of Mongolia

soylThe National Museum of Mongolia

Zonhov Bogd ((1357-1419))The National Museum of Mongolia

Zonhov Bogd Zonhov (1357-1419) He was one of the greatest lamas of Tibet and founder of the Gelug order of Buddhism. This branch of Buddhism became the dominant sect in Mongolia. Rising from the statue’s shoulders are two lotus blossoms, each supporting a Buddhist attribute.

Prayer wheelThe National Museum of Mongolia

Prayer wheel
One of the customs of traditional Mongolian-Tibetan Buddhism is the use of prayer wheels. Turning a prayer wheel enables you to amass virtue and to confess your sins.

Voipor (Incense)The National Museum of Mongolia

Voipor (Incense)
Dried and powdered juniper was burned to purify the home, livestock and family members and to avert misfortune. This incense burner has three legs and a lid crowned by a lion. A Chinese inscription on it suggests a Chinese artisan made it.

Bell and thunderboltThe National Museum of Mongolia

Bell and thunderbolt
The bell and thunderbolt are the most important ritual instruments of Tibetan Buddhism. Used as a pair in rituals, they symbolise the union of wisdom and compassion, which leads ultimately to enlightenment. Mongolian families keep these items in their homes.

The Morin khuur (1800)The National Museum of Mongolia

Traditional Musical Instruments

Mongolia has a rich musical tradition. Cultural exchange between Mongolia and other Asian countries since the Hunnu Empire, resulted in the spread of a number of oriental musical instruments into Mongolia, while Mongolian musical instruments were widely disseminated among the other peoples of Asia.

The Morin khuur
This stringed musical instrument derives its name from the horsehead ornament that adorns its top. The horsehead fiddle is very common throughout Mongolia, with every family likely to have one and place special value on it. Mongolian traditional songs and melodies are played on it, although it can also be used to play any other type of music. It has a trapezoid-shaped sound-box made of wood and the horsehead is usually painted green. The strings are made of hair from a horse’s tail. To make the strings, the hair is boiled and stretched to the required length. There are also swan-head fiddles, lion-headed fiddles and dragon-head fiddles.

The Ikhel (1800)The National Museum of Mongolia

The Ikhel
The Ikhel, a similar instrument to the morin khuur (horse-head fiddle) is widely played in Western Mongolia, especially among such ethnic groups as the Dorvod, Bayad, Zahchin, Urianhai, Oold and Myangad. The Ikhel is used in both dance music and for ceremonies.; it has a pair of strings made from horse tail hair and is played with a bow. The Ikhel is also very similar to the suuh fiddle that is used by the Buryads in northern and eastern Mongolia.

The drumThe National Museum of Mongolia

The drum: This musical instrument is struck with two drumsticks on both of its sides.

The Duudaram (1800)The National Museum of Mongolia

The Duudaram
This instrument is made of ten metal discs - one on the top and three rows of three discs each underneath. The discs are struck with a small hammer to make a sound. This instrument is still used in traditional folk

Wooden puzzlesThe National Museum of Mongolia

Traditional Games

Wooden puzzles
Mongolian puzzles generally consist of 4, 6, or 8 small pieces. Similar puzzles are found throughout the world.

UichuurThe National Museum of Mongolia

This game consists of 128 long, thin wooden or bone pieces. Each piece has an animal such as a lion, tiger, deer, rabbit or bird carved onto it. Each also has a specific number of points assigned to it. For example, there is only one lion in the set and it is worth 64 points. There are 64 pieces featuring birds, but each bird is worth only one point. Dice are rolled and when a four is rolled, the player collects a piece. At the end, the player with the highest number of points wins.

TahilThe National Museum of Mongolia

Knife setThe National Museum of Mongolia


Mongolian nomadic culture is a truly distinctive way of life. Since ancient times the natural & climatic conditions of Mongolia were mostly suited for nomadic animal husbandry & hunting. Mongolians also made use of native flora, carried out land cultivation,  engaged in fishing &  developed specific handicrafts.After Buddhism spread across Mongolia in the 16th century a portion of the population settled down permanently or semi-permanently as monastic complexes were built. Nevertheless, the nomadic way of life & traditions carried on. This hall discusses the most important objects and tools in nomadic animal husbandry & all the surrounding social & cultural activities based on a nomadic lifestyle.

Cart & harnessThe National Museum of Mongolia

National Museum of MongoliaThe National Museum of Mongolia

Mongolian ger (1800)The National Museum of Mongolia

Mongolian ger 

Painted wood, felt, skin, wool and hair ropeFirst half of the 20th century The ger (yurt/felt tent) is the traditional house of Mongolians. There are two types, Turkic and Mongolian. The Mongolian ger is the dwelling of the majority of Mongolian people, the Mongolians of northern China and also the Mongolians of Lake Baikal in Russia, who moved there in ancient times. The size of a ger depends on the number of wall sections; pre-20th century Mongolian gers generally had four wall sections. Birch and willow wood is used for the frame and the covers are made from felt. The ger exhibited here was made in the 1940s and has five wall sections. The wood is painted a brown-red colour with the outside of the door given decorative patterns. Inside the ger a stove is situated in the centre and on the north side a pair of chests with religious ritual items on them. In the north-eastern side is a bed. The eastern part is meant for kitchen utilities, the western part holds horse-riding equipment such as saddles and bridles. A bag for airag, fermented mare’s milk also hangs on the wall. The door of a ger is always positioned to face the south.

Cart & harnessThe National Museum of Mongolia

Cart & harness

When nomads are on the move horses, cows, yaks and camels can all be put to work to pull carts. The choice of animal depends largely on the geographical region. In the eastern part which consists entirely of steppes horses and cows  are used; in the Gobi desert - camels; in the north-west of Mongolia yaks do the pulling.The most essential equipment for a cart is the harness. The strap of the harness is fitted onto the back, and a pair of cart shafts is tied to the iron rings on both sides. The harness is made from felt and leather rope.

Tohosh - Camel saddleThe National Museum of Mongolia

Tohosh - Camel saddleFelt, cloth and skin

40 x 75 cmSecond half of the 20th centuryOne of the five domesticated animals of Mongolia is the two-humped camel, raised by herders of the steppes and Gobi desert. The saddle cushion - tohosh is primarily used for riding a camel and made from felt that is quilted with coloured cloth and fibres. In some places the felt is covered with hide and leather. In recent times tohosh are being made from sheep’s wool which is coloured and woven to produce the saddles and embroidered with different kinds of patterns & designs. Most of the saddles include stirrups attached with a leather strap.

Saddle (1800)The National Museum of Mongolia


Mongolian herders have horses and it could be said that every Mongolian can ride a horse. The Mongolian saddle differs considerably from other saddles in the world in its form, style and fittings. Our saddles are wooden and primarily made of birch. The saddle is covered with felt that is decorated with a woollen cloth, woven carpet, etc. It is common to decorate the saddle-bow, side-board and seat with bone, brass, copper, silver and also gilded silver. The saddles with silver decorations are distinguished by 6, 8 or10 white ornaments. The saddle displayed here has 6 silver ornaments and bone ornamental trimmings and a dark red saddle cloth with patterns.

Mortar and tea-pounding instrument (First half of 20th century)The National Museum of Mongolia

Mortar and tea-pounding instrument  birch15 x 29 cm  

First half of 20th century Tea which is hard and compacted into bricks is broken down into small portions using a hammer and mallet and then further pounded in a wooden mortar. There are various sizes of mortars and they are generally made from cedar, birch and blackwood. The mouth and the bottom of pestles are decorated with patterns.Khuhuur-leather bag for airag Skin, wood, wool rope72 x 88 cm    Beginning of the 20th centuryMongolian people widely consume dairy products from the five domesticated animals, and one of the milk products is airag. The khuhuur is used for preserving all animal’s milk, although the airag is chiefly kept in a wooden bucket or leather bag. The bag is made from cow hide which has been smoked to consolidate it. An empty khuhuur is usually kept in the kitchen area, while a khuhuur holding fermented mare’s milk should be kept on the west side of a Mongolian ger. The khuhuur exhibited here is made from the hide of a single cow and is the biggest standard size.

Khuhuur-leather bag for airag (Beginning of the 20th century)The National Museum of Mongolia

Bag for bowl (cup)The National Museum of Mongolia

Silver Bowl
Silver bowls with a traditional pattern and with a spiral type pattern were used to serve tea and other drinks for the family and to their guests. Bowls are prized for the quality of wood (from the root of a tree) and the amount of silver used, as well as for their intricate designs worked in silver.

Black banner of Lord Chingunjav (17th century)The National Museum of Mongolia


For  about  200  years,  from  the  17th  to  the  beginning  of the 20th century, Mongolia  was under the dominion of Manchu rule (Qing Dynasty).

Монголын Үндэсний Музейн Наймдугаар танхим: БОГД ХААНТ МОНГОЛ ОРОНThe National Museum of Mongolia

Silver Seal (18th – early 20th century)The National Museum of Mongolia

Silver Seal
4.7 x4.7 cm
18th – early 20th century
This is one of the seals used to legitimise documents of Mongolian lords during the Manchu Dynasty. This seal has a tiger-shaped handle and square base. Three sides of the base are written in Chinese, the other side written in Manchurian script. The two sides of the tiger figure have Mongolian and Manchurian writing describing it as the “rule seal of Khalkh’s northern road western sub-provinces.” The seal had been kept by the sub-province until it was transferred to the Academy of Linguistics.

Stele of Toono MountainThe National Museum of Mongolia

Stele of Toono Mountain Stone
120 x 40 cm
This stele was located at Toono Mountain in Dashbalbar sum of Khentii province, and in early 1960 it was transferred to the ‘state central museum’. In 1696, the Manchu King Kangxi had won a battle against Galdan Boshigt Khan and created the stele to memorialise his victory. After battling for many years with Galdan Boshigt Khan, he finally occupied the whole of Mongolia. On the stele are carved seven lines in Chinese.

Black banner of Lord Chingunjav (17th century)The National Museum of Mongolia

Black banner of Lord Chingunjav
Horse tail, wood, silk
17th century
This black banner was used as symbol of a war. It is made of horses’ tails. On the top of the banner is a skull shape. The banner belonged to Chingunjav, who was Lord of the Khalkh Mongols. He was also head of Khotgoid’s government and the main leader of the armed uprising in 1755 - 1758 against Manchurian control. He staunchly continued the struggle but was caught by Manchus and executed in 1758. His black banner was kept in his motherland and transferred to the museum in the 1950s.

Seal (9th - 20th centuries)The National Museum of Mongolia

Gilded steel
9 x 4.7 x 4.7 cm
9th - 20th centuries
This seal is decorated with a lotus, a dragon with fire, some fish on the handle and inlaid turquoise on the bottom. Also on the base of the seal are four lines in square script. As translated into Mongolian, they mean: this is Zasagt Khan Tserebaldir’s seal and successful victory. In the first half of the 18th century, the Manchus gave Zasagt Khan Tserenbaldir this seal in honour of his winning side in the the Zuungar State.

Erdeniin Ochir ~ Mongolian Order of State (19th - 20th century)The National Museum of Mongolia

MONGOLIA  1911 - 1920

The beginning of  the 20th century saw Mongolia struggling for its independence from Manchu rule, which resulted in  independence  in 1911. The consequentual theocratic monarchy headed by the Bogd Khan lasted until 1924. Exhibits in this hall describe the military and political struggle for Mongolia’s  self-determination as well as the ensuing social and economic changes in the country. In 1911 there was a revolution in China that resulted in the founding of a new presidential republic in 1912. Despite the Mongolian declaration, the new rulers of China still considered Mongolia to be a province of China. Mongolia sought help from Japan, England, France and the USA, but the leaders of these countries felt that Mongolia indeed belonged to China. After this the larger nations became too involved in World War I to devote their attention to this issue.In 1915 China, Russia and Mongolia finally signed a treaty granting Mongolia autonomy. From then until 1919 Russia and Mongolia had a very productive relationship. Russia provided financial aid for the development of state schools for Mongolians, for the establishment of a Mongolian army, and for newspapers, electricity and telecommunication centres.

Erdeniin Ochir ~ Mongolian Order of State
Gold, precious stones
19th - 20th century
During the Bogd Khan period, the Erdeniin Ochir medal was invented and rules for it created. They were produced in St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia, and were awarded to foreigners. The order was divided into three levels. The top level of the order was named Chinggis Khan’s order and was for kings of state. The second level was named Abtai Khan’s order and was given to lords and princes. The last order was named Bogd Gegeen’s order.

Монголын Үндэсний Музейн Есдүгээр танхим: СОЦИАЛИЗМЫН ҮЕ, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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D.Sukhbaatar’s garment, vest (1921)The National Museum of Mongolia


After civil wars in both Russia and China broke out in 1919, the Chinese decided to dissolve Mongolian autonomy. Mongolian resistance groups were formed, including the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP). With the support of the Bogd Khan Jibzundamba, this organisation sent representatives to Russia in July 1920. D.Sukhbaatar, a member of the MPP, carried a petition bearing the Bogd Khan Jibzundamba’s stamp hidden inside his riding crop. The Bolsheviks agreed to support Mongolia and the MPP organized a government and armed forces. S.Danzan was the Party leader and Damdinii Sukhbaatar was the head of the military.

Typewriter “Kontinental”The National Museum of Mongolia

Typewriter “Kontinental”
13.5 x 31.5 x 29.5 cm
Made in Germany
This typewriter with the old Mongolian script was used in Mongolia after 1928. This script was officially used until the 1950s and again after the 1990s, when it began to be studied in secondary schools and state organisations. Education Minister Erdenebatkhaan ordered this typewriter to be made when he visited Germany in 1925.

Seal box of Commander -in- Chief D.SukhbaatarThe National Museum of Mongolia

Seal box of Commanderin Chief
This square wooden box was decorated with patterns made of silver, with the top of the box inlaid with coral and turquoise. It was locked with a Mongolian traditional lock.

D.Sukhbaatar’s garment, vest (1921)The National Museum of Mongolia

D.Sukhbaatar’s garment, vest 1921
Silk, velvet, brass
Garment: 130 x 177 cm,
Vest 73 x 60 cm
After liberating Altanbulag, the leaders of the People’s Party wore similar garments when they arrived at Niislel (present day Ulaanbaatar). Sukhbaatar’s vest is made of silk and decorated with the ulzii - a traditional eternal knot pattern. The museum staff collected the del from Suhkbaatar’s widow Yanjmaa in 1927.

Photograph Sukhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar (7 March 1990)The National Museum of Mongolia


When in the late 1980’s the Soviet Union went through fundamental political changes (Perestroika) and the communist system finally collapsed, it signalled equally important changes for the Mongolian People’s Republic. Sensitive to the developments in their communist neighbourhood Mongolia’s national consciousness was awakened. People all over Mongolia established political groups and clubs with the objective to call for social justice, freedom and democratisation. A great number of parties were founded, their names showing the already broad range of topics people felt needed to be addressed. Among others there were the Democratic Socialist Union, New Progressive Union, Mongolian Social Democratic Party, Mongolian National Democratic Party, Free Labour Party, and Mongolian Green Party. In December 1989, the Mongolian Democratic Union (MDU) was formed and Sanjaa Zorig, a teacher of the National University of Mongolia was elected as a “General Coordinator” of the MDU.

Монголын Үндэсний Музейн Аравдугаар танхим: АРДЧИЛЛЫН ҮЕИЙН МОНГОЛ (1990- ӨНӨӨГ ХҮРТЭЛ)The National Museum of Mongolia

Photograph Sukhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar, 7 March 1990, From the collection of: The National Museum of Mongolia
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Sukhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar
7 March 1990
Mongolia’s first political hunger strike by a group of protesters - tfollowing the government not answering the demands that arose from the 5th freedom demonstration held three days earlier that had been attended by 90,000 people.

MongoliaThe National Museum of Mongolia

With the participation of developed countries, the mining sector in Mongolia has received great impetus and has been steadily developed. Mongolia’s rich deposits carry the potential to bring great wealth to the whole country and society.
In the realm of culture, re-establishing monastic centres of learning, building schools and universities as well as the education and training of students and scientists overseas were and are all matters of high priority.

Credits: Story

Ravzanaadi; Designer

The National Museum of Mongolia

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