Interviewee ID: 990109
Parent's name: Süh
Year of Birth: 1949
Notes on education:
Work: illustration teacher
Born in: Mönhhairhan sum, Hovd aimag
Lives in: [None Given] sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
(Please click on a theme to see more interviews on that topic)
family; belief; travel; life in wartime; environment;
Alternative keywords suggested by readers for this interview are: (Please click on a keyword to see more interviews, if any, on that topic)
Click here to submit your own keywords for this interview
To read a full interview with Lyanh please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090201B with Lyanh
Puntsag, Lyanh's grandfather, was a native of Tonhil sum, Gobi-Altai aimag. By the beginning of 1920s he moved to Mönhhairhan sum in Hovd to live. He was a peddler who traveled from Da Hüree (today's Ulaanbaatar) to Höh hot (in Inner Mongolia) selling goods. People called him “peaceful” because he was a calm person of few words. Puntsag first came in Hovd with a box full of gold and silver and bought domestic animals and property with half of it, and took and hid the other half in the mountains. He forgot where he hid his treasure since he was affected by mental illness eventually, and passed away around 1933 or 1934 without finding it. His offspring including Lyanh and her father have not found it even now.
Lyanh’s grandmother had servants to do her household work and went to feasts because the Puntsags were wealthy. It is said that Lyanh’s father had his own ger built and attended by servants when he was a child. The confiscations started in 1940 and his family had their property confiscated and the rest of the domestic animals were collectivized into the commune; only five or six horses were left when Lyanh’s father was demobilized from the Army.
Although religion was restricted completely in the middle of the twentieth century, Lyanh’s grandmother brought her to Jamadai who was a lama before the repressions, and was jailed for 10 years. Jamadai taught her religious texts and did a religious ritual for her when she was a child. He led Lyanh’s mother to the 'Torguud Ih Hüree' in Bulgan sum when Lyanh's mother was pregnant with her, then he gave a name to the still-to-born child, that is, the name “Lyanh”. This shows that people followed their religion implicitly even though it was forbidden.
According to Lyanh, the restriction of religion during the socialist period led to the extinction and disappearance of some traditions and customs of the Urianhai.
There were 7 Urianhai hoshuu covering Hovd and Bayan-Ölgii before the Revolution. Most residents fled their country crossing the Altai mountains during the 'Great Flight' of 1923-1924. Leading lama and nobles of the time who did not support the revolution were calling for people to flee. Some of the people who fled were robbed by the Kazakhs and suffered from severe winters, and a few of them came back to their home country. It is said that Urianhai people are living in only 2 sums, namely Duut and Mönhhairhan in Hovd aimag.