Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990586
Name: Gongarshamid
Parent's name: Dügersüren
Ovog: Ilenged
Sex: m
Year of Birth: 1948
Ethnicity: Ööld
Occupations: herder

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

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

Summary of Interview 101106A with Gongarshamid by Otgonbayar

Gangarshamid guai was born in 1948 and he has books, sutras and Buddhist offerings at home. They were a very religious family. During repressions the arrests started beginning with the big incarnation of the Erdenebüren monastery.

Gangarshamid guai attended the so called Muhryn Am school in 1956 for two months and he memorized the letters and learned to solve math problems. In 1973 two teachers came from the sum school to give examinations and gave him an elementary class certificate.

Concerning religion he said the people were very religious and there were also many educated lamas. There were 5-6 people who were lamas but then became secular. The believers visited them secretly. His dad and his grandmother kept their Buddhist offerings, concealing them. Gangarshamid guai has his father’s silver knife and a white snuff bottle. From 1996 he has taken out the Buddhist items and venerated them.

In 1973 Gangarshamid guai together with such people like Haraa and Choibalsan visited Ulan-Ude, Irkutsk and Omsk in the Soviet Union. They had permission to have 26 rubles when going there and they visited museums and had a cruise on the river Angara.

After the break-up of the collective Gangarshamid guai got 190 head of livestock. He also obtained a Russian bed. The number of head of livestock to be given per person was different in each bag during privatization.

When the son or the daughter gets married, the son gets more cattle and the ‘ails’ take great care of their bride. In the olden times the women were dependent on their husbands and their rights were limited but after democracy they have acquired freedom.

The Osman Kazakhs came in through Altai and Bulgan and they often robbed. Due to this fact and also because of the Kazakhs’ nationalism the relation between the Kazakhs and the Mongolians is distant.

Summary of Interview 101106B with Gongarshamid by Otgonbayar

In the socialist period the traditional rituals of branding the colts and castrating the livestock were halted. The so-called golden stone of a fetus or a collection of castrated livestock’s hair and wool is kept at Gangarshamid guai’s home. He keeps it together with the burhan's offerings. When castrating the livestock, they choose a day when the livestock’s soul isn’t in its tail. Horses are branded on a day of the tiger.

The shoulder blade is offered to burhan during the four days of Tsagaan Sar and half of it is offered to the land. When worshipping the fire, a lama reads a sutra and a sacrifice is made of a yellow bald headed sheep.

A bald headed light bay has been marked out as consecrated to a divinity saying that it was marked out for the god Lham. A light blue yak is marked out for the Old White Man. In fact, the cattle are marked out being identified by the color of them. When branding the cattle, a Tibetan sutra is written on a cloth and it is tied to it together with a five-colored hadag. When the consecrated cattle gets old, its breath is taken by a lama and the hadag is passed over to another young animal.

The ‘ails’ read the sutra when moving to a new place. They had a separate camel to load the burhan's offerings. When catching a horse and when doing a short training run for a race-horse, they took the day into account. When doing a correction ceremony, fire worshipping, tying a ribbon on an animal, or making an incense offering, a lama had to be invited.

Gangarshamid guai’s grandmother and his father (in 1980) were buried in an open place. In the olden times the dead were also cremated.

In 1997 he donated to the building of a stupa in his aimag and there are no operating monasteries in his homeland.