Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990582
Name: Tserendulam
Parent's name: Bidernee
Ovog: Oryas
Sex: f
Year of Birth: 1946
Ethnicity: Urianhai
Occupations: retired

Additional Information
Education: secondary
Notes on education: büren dund
Belief: Buddhist
Born in: Duut sum, Hovd aimag
Lives in: Jargalant sum (or part of UB), Hovd aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder

To read a full interview with Tserendulam please click on the Interview ID below.

Summary of Interview 101102A with Tserendulam by Otgonbayar

Tserendulam guai wore the Urianhai traditional clothes inherited from her mother when giving this interview. The outer robe is called a tsegdeg and the inner robe is called terleg. The hair-piece was sewn by her mother. The most important part of the Urianhai clothes is the edge stitch and there are also many colorful kerchiefs. The Urianhai deel’s sleeves are very loose. During the Kazakh war the Urianhai mothers concealed their babies in their sleeves and were able to escape. The footwear or ‘gosoo’ and the deel were all handmade. The cap or ‘toortsogo’ has been worn with shamlaga. Tserendulam guai called her earrings ‘siik’.

An unmarried woman’s lose hair was rolled up and the rest was put in ‘boodgo’ (name of a hair-piece). When Tserendulam guai was a child, every ‘ail’ had a tovshuur and ih hel (musical instruments). Every guest had to touch it and sing a song before leaving. They played the tovshuur and intoned an epic. Tserendulam guai talked about biyelgee dance and praised her tovshuur,

The tovshuur crafted from the wood called poplar

Made by taking hairs from the chestnut colt’s tail

The tovshuur made by shaving the wood called Siberian Larch

Made by taking hairs from the creamy chestnut

The tovshuur made sparingly from a wood called ‘altsan’

Made by taking hairs from the Lion Garuda

She created these words of praise. The tovshuur is kept respectfully in high places.

Tserendulam guai has participated in the Oirad Erih Höhsü festival. She has the awards of the ‘state leading artistic person’ and the ‘people’s leading gifted person’. She has talked about the bards like Choisüren, Avirmed and Urtnasan. To recite epics means similar like offering incense seeking fortune or luck and it is considered to be like awakening the luck of the family. If the tovshuur is played with dancing biyelgee and there are people sitting, the tovshuur is passed on clockwise to the next person and he plays or dances. If he cannot, he should sing.

Tserendulam guai and her forefathers are Urianhai people from Altai. There used to be seven Urianhai provinces. They are from Ah sum and they have the family name (ovog) Oviyos. Her father married in Inner Mongolia and then moved back to Mongolia. There were such ‘ails’ who had come over the mountains and they used to live in the mountains and rocks. There was a period when the Kazakhs disturbed the Urianhais, the Zahchin and the Torguuds. They were the Osman Kazakhs.

Tserendulam guai’s husband was a League cell darga. Her father-in-law Höhiin Namjil guai was the first deputy elected from Hovd.

Her father’s older brother Sengee loaded his Buddhist relics on two camels and concealed them near the river Tsenher. Religion was prohibited and it was very strict. There were fortunetellers who told the fortune with 41 stones and drawing coins. The people used to visit them secretly in order to know about their future. But the customs of fire worship, consecrating livestock, worshipping the mountains and the ovoos have been preserved. During tsagaan sar the people offered balin (sacrificial offering shaped out of dough) to the ovoos, burnt 13 incenses to Altai, offered livestock sternums, and tied zalam (willow sticks) upon the breast-bone according to the number of the people. Women were prohibited to take part in this ceremony and their husbands couldn’t attend the ceremony if they were party members.

Summary of Interview 101102B with Tserendulam by Otgonbayar

Tserendulam guai explained about her cap decorations, saying that they have the symbol of a flame that goes upwards.

Since 1990 many religions have appeared simultaneously in Hovd like Islam, Christianity, Morgan (??) and Buddhist churches. There are many people who invited her to visit Christian meetings. Recently shamans have been increasing in number.

The cultural campaign gave a lot to the people. Hot water appeared in the sums, everyone acquired a face towel and blankets. Adults and children alike were undressed to be examined. The toughest thing was the venereal disease inspection. The adults were queued to be examined. It was said, some children had come to naadam with their parents nude. The sum center ‘ails’ had a hot water schedule. A picture of a pig was hung to make the people clean their fences. The people who had good hygiene were given tubs or horses.

Tserendulam guai worked as a nurse in a sum hospital. Their sum hospital had ten beds and nurses for two shifts.

In 1990 a hunger strike was announced in the aimag theatre similar to one we had in Ulaanbaatar. The people accepted it in various ways and her husband said, “The society is changing and this kind of a thing should be there.”

She has given the privatization coupons to her husband’s administration work place. In later days she has received only 150.000 tögrögs. The herders got their livestock but mostly the cunning and the quick-minded people could get the most. Tserendulam guai has clothes made by her mother from jatar and speckled materials. She has a tovshuur with a tsatsal (device used for ritual sprinkling) head.

In 2000, for the 800th anniversary, Tserendulan guai represented the Urianhai nationality. She has met the Urianhai of Bayan-Ölgii aimag and took part in the ‘Instant’ TV program. The present day Urianhais residing in the countryside don’t wear the national clothes and they don’t know how to sew them. Tserendulam guai talked extensively about her artistic trips and her performances. When participating in the clothes festival, she lost the tobacco pouch and the cup case she had sewn.

She said she was going to participate in the state festival of the biyelgee dancers and thus she ended her interview.