Title: Sacred Mountains in the Context of the Modern Nation: The Political Dimension of the Landscape in Mongolia


Smyrski, Łukasz

Date issued/created:


Resource type:



Etnografia Polska 64 z. 1-2 (2020)


Granas, Michelle. Tł.


Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk

Place of publishing:



24 cm

Type of object:



The aim of the article is to analyze the relationship between the landscape and the process of building national identity in Mongolia in the context of political transformation. I describe contemporary practices related to the public tachilga offering intended for the guardians of the most important mountains with national status in Mongolia. I consider how the local ontology based on the relational interaction between human and non-human entities is reflected at the level of state activities. Discussing the issue, I refer to the category of landscape and show how it has become a major actor in contemporary national discourse in Mongolia


Altan Chöchii uul 2009, Altan Chöchii uul, Öndur Chöchii ovoony taijlga, tahilga, Khovd
Anderson Benedict 1991, Imagined Communities Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Verso, London
Atwood Christopher P. 2004, Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, Facts on File, New York
Atwood Christopher P. 2011, Is There Such a Thing as Central/Inner (Eur) Asia and Is Mongolia a Part of It?, [in:] Mapping Mongolia: Situating Mongolia in the World from Geologic Time to the Present, ed. Paula Sabloff, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, pp. 60–84
Balikci Denjongpa Anna 2002, Kangchendzönga: Secular and Buddhist Perception of the Mountain Deity of Sikkim among the Lhopos, Bulletin of Tibetology, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 5-37
Buck Quijada Justine 2008, What If We Don’t Know Our Clan? The City Tailgan as New Ritual Form in Buriatia, Sibirica, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1–22
Bulag Uradyn E. 1998, Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia, Clarendon Press, Oxford
Djakonova Vera P. 1977, Religioznyje kulty tuvincev, Nauka, Leningrad
Evans Christopher, Humphrey Caroline 2003, History, Timelessness and the Monumental: The Oboos of the Mergen Environs, Inner Mongolia, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, vol. 13, z. 2, pp. 195–211
Halemba Agnieszka, 2006, The Telengits of Southern Siberia. Landscape, Religion and Knowledge in Motion, Routledge, London
Hobsbawm Eric 1983, Introduction: Inventing Traditions, [in:] The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger, University Press, Cambridge
Hohmann Sophie 2010, National Identity and Invented Tradition: The Rehabilitation of Traditional Medicine in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan, The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, vol. 8, pp. 129–148
Humphrey Caroline 1995, Chiefly and Shamanist Landscapes in Mongolia, [in:] Anthropology of Landscape: Perspectives on Place and Space, ed. Eric Hirsch, Michael O’Hanlon, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 135–162
Humphrey Caroline, Onon Urunge, 1996, Shamans and Elders: Experience, Knowledge and Power among the Daur Mongols, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Kabzińska-Stawarz Iwona 1994, Współzawodnictwa w sytuacjach granicznych. Część II,”Etnografia Polska, vol. 38, z. 1-2, pp. 187–218
Kopf Charline 2017, Reinventing the Mongolian Nutag (Homeland): Fixing a Nomadic Space and History in State Nationalism, Strife Journal, no. 7, pp. 31–39
Kaplonski Christopher 2004, Truth, History and Politics in Mongolia: The Memory of Heroes, Routledge, London-New York
Lhagvasuren Erdenebold 2012, Tradicionnyje verovanija oirat-mongolov (konec XIX – naczalo XX v.), Izdatelstvo Burjatskogo naucznogo centra CO RAN, Ulan-Ude
Lindskog Benedikte V. 2016, Ritual Offerings to Ovoos among Nomadic Halh Herders of West-Central Mongolia, Études mongoles et sibériennes, centrasiatiques et tibétaines, [online], no. 47/ 2016, pp. 1–20
Lindquist Galina 2008, Loyalty and Command: Shamans, Lamas, and Spirits in a Siberian Ritual, Social Analysis, vol. 52, z. 1, pp. 111–126
Mongush Marina W. 1992, Lamaism v Tuve. Istoriko-etnograficheskoje issledovanie, Tuvinskoje Knizhnoje Izdatelstvo, Kyzyl
Myadar Orhon 2017, The Rebirth of Chinggis Khaan: State Appropriation of Chinggis Khaan in Post-Socialist Mongolia, Nationalities Papers, vol. 45 (5), pp. 840–855
Myadar Orhon, Rae James Deshaw 2014, Territorializing National Identity in Post-Socialist Mongolia: Purity, Authenticity, and Chinggis Khaan, Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 55, z. 5, pp. 560–577
Pedersen Morten Axel 2011, Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia, Cornell University Press, Ithaca-London
Purev Otgony, Purvee Gurbadaryn 2006, Mongolian Shamanism, Admon, Ulaanbaatar
Rakowski Tomasz 2019, Przepływy, współdziałania, kręgi możliwego. Antropologia powodzenia, Fundacja Terytoria Książki, Gdańsk
The Secret History of Mongols 2001, The Secret History of Mongols. The Life and Times of Chinggis Khan, ed. & trans. Urgunge Onon, Routledge, Cambridge
Smith Anthony D. 2008, The Cultural Foundations of Nations: Hierarchy, Covenant and Republic, Blackwell, Malden
Smyrski Łukasz 2008, Ajdyn znaczy Księżyc. Narody południowej Syberii, DiG, Warsaw
Smyrski Łukasz 2018, Między władzą spojrzenia a praktyką. Antropologia krajobrazu, Oficyna Naukowa, Warsaw
Sneath David 2007, Ritual Idioms and Spatial Orders: Comparing the Rites for Mongolian and Tibetan “Local Deities”, [in:] Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003 The Mongolia-Tibet Interface: Opening New Research Terrains in Inner Asia, Uradyn E. Bulag, Hildegard G.M. Diemberger (eds.), Leiden, pp. 135–157
Sneath David 2010, Political Mobilization and the Construction of Collective Identity in Mongolia, Central Asian Survey, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 251–267
Sneath David 2014, Nationalising Civilisational Resources: Sacred Mountains and Cosmopolitical Ritual in Mongolia, Asian Ethnicity, vol. 15, pp. 458–472
Urbańska-Szymoszyn Anna 2012, Współczesna indyjska pielgrzymka narodowa do góry Kailas i Jeziora Manasarowar w Tybecie, Etnografia Polska, vol. 56, z. 1-2, pp. 85–119
Tamirjavyn Bilegsaikhan 2017, Some Remarks on Ovoo Worship among the Dariganga Mongols, Rocznik Orientalistyczny, vol. LXX, z. 2, pp. 261–273
Tangad Oyungerel 2013, Scheda po Czyngis Chanie. Demokracja po mongolsku, Trio, Warsaw
Wallace Vesna A. 2011, Mongolian Livestock Rituals and Their Appropriations, Adaptations and Permutations, [in:] Understanding Religious Rituals: Theoretical Approaches and Innovations, ed. J. Hoffmann, Routledge, London, pp. 168–188
Zhukowskaia Natalia L. 1977, Lamaism i rannie formy religii, Nauka, Moscow


Etnografia Polska





Start page:


End page:


Detailed Resource Type:




Resource Identifier:

oai:rcin.org.pl:158868 ; 0071-1861 ; doi:10.23858/EP64.2020.002


IAiE PAN, call no. P 326 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 327 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 325 ; click here to follow the link




Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0 license

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. [CC BY 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Projects co-financed by:

Ministry of Science and Higher Education ; Operational Program Digital Poland, 2014-2020, Measure 2.3: Digital accessibility and usefulness of public sector information; funds from the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing from the state budget. ; European Union. European Regional Development Fund





Citation style:

This page uses 'cookies'. More information