Supporting natural and cultural sustainability through the revitalization and transmission of the traditional practices of worshipping the sacred sites in Mongolia

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 98,500 granted in 2018
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 12/02/2019 - 12/12/2021
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Mongolia


Implemented by the Foundation for the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage, the proposed thirty-month project aims to revive forgotten worshipping practices of sacred sites in rural areas in Mongolia, with reference to the element inscribed in 2017 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. These practices – performed at sacred sites that are located throughout the country, to invoke assistance from deities of nature – have been transmitted and developed by nomadic Mongolians since ancient times. However, for a period during the twentieth century this traditional system was ignored and even prohibited in Mongolia, and the number of sufficiently knowledgeable practitioners has dramatically decreased, with the traditional practices and their symbolic meanings having been lost in many communities. Though the communities, practitioners and government have made active efforts to revive the element, several extreme challenges remain, such as the effects of urbanization and mining operations. There is, therefore, an urgent need to raise awareness among the general public, especially youth, and one of the crucial objectives of the project is to bring young people back into contact with knowledge holders. To this end, the proposed project will focus on: carrying out research and field surveys to clarify the real state of the element and create a favorable environment for its practice; training special masters, leaders of worshipping communities and organizers of traditional worshipping practices; and creating and distributing educational materials, including manuals, reference books and videos.

News and activities:

International assistance related to an element inscribed or nominated for the Urgent Safeguarding List:

00871 - Mongolian traditional practices of worshipping the sacred sites (12.COM, inscribed/selected/approuved)

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