Nomads and Commissars: Mongolia Revisited

By Owen Lattimore | Go to book overview

2
"Mongolia's Lovely Land"

High lovely ridges of the Khentei, Khangai, Soyon,
Thick-wooded mountains, the beauty of the north;
The wide great Menen, Sharga, Nomin gobi-spaces
And seas of sand-dunes fronting on the south:

This, this is the home where I was born--
Mongolia's lovely land.

--DASHDORJIIN NATSAGDORJ
( 1906-37)

NOMADS BY RIGHT of uncounted centuries of inheritance, the Mongols of today retain much of that inheritance, in spite of the growth of agriculture and the rapid spread of industry.

Living parts of their tradition--the "Three Manly Sports" of the Mongols, which they practice and follow passionately--are horse-racing, archery, and wrestling. All three come down to them from their military and tribal past. To them might well be added poetry, which also represents an unbroken tradition: the Secret History of the Mongols, the great thirteenth-century chronicle

-16-

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