The Eight White Ordon, the Offering Ceremonies of Genghis Khan and the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
Sept. 1983, a book titled " Altan Ordon
nai Dailga" (the Offering Ceremonies
of the Golden Ordon) by Mr. Sain-Jirgal
and Mr. Sharaldai was published in
classic Mongol script. Although the book was priced
only about US$0.15 at the time according to today's
rate, it has been providing the most comprehensive and
first hand materials on the offering ceremonies of the
Genghis Khan's Eight White Ordon and other related events.
Since one of the authors himself is a Darkhad and the
other is a long time researcher at the Yikh Juu League's
Bureau of Culture, we can count on the contents and
facts which stated in the book.
As a Mongol from Ordos, I decided to write something
on the Khan's Eight White Ordon and the mausoleum of
Genghis khan when I came to the United States and found
out that the people of the world know little about the
man known as the "Conqueror of the World".
Especially when I learned that the Chinese-Government-sponsored
"Florida Splendid China Theme Park" near Orlando,
US is trying to convince the people of the world that
the Khan was an emperor of the Chinese and so the Mongols
are also Chinese. |
I hope the following article, which mainly based on the " Altan Ordon nai Dailga", will give people the historical background and outline of the Khan's offering ceremonies as well as some facts which are useful for understanding the Inner Mongolians who are still suffering from the Chinese rule.
The Eight White OrdonAfter the Khan's death in 1227, his body was buried secretly according to the custom of the Mongols. The burial place still remains as a secret (most likely somewhere in the Altai Mountain).
The Mongols started to commemorate their great leader and founder of the nation right after his death. The Eight White Ordon in Ejen-Khoroo, Ordos, Inner Mongolia were probably set up in these days.
Khubilai Khan (1215-1994, the 5th Grand Khan (Emperor) of the Mongol Empire and also a grandson of Genghis Khan) set up a complete system and rule for the Genghis Khan Ceremonies. By his rule, the Darkhad, certain number of Mongols (actually 500 households at that time) from the tribes all over the Mongol Empire, were chosen to handle the matter of ceremonies and protect the Eight White Ordon; Yaamutad, officials with certain ranks and responsibilities, were appointed to carry out the ceremonies.
The Eight White Ordon: more accurately, it should be called " The Eight White Shitugen". Shitugen: object(s) of veneration.
According to the Darkhad, the ritual to commemorate Genghis Khan started from the days of Ogodei Khan ( 1186-1241, the 2nd grand Khan of the Mongol Empire and the 3rd son of Genghis Khan). So we can speculate that the Eight White Ordon were also set up at that time. The reason to choose Ejen Khoroo to set up the Eight White Ordon has been unclear.
Folk tales among the Mongols told us that, one day when the Khan was on his way to punish the Tanghud people ( a people lived in now-a-day's Ning Xia region in China), his horsewhip fell onto the ground all of a sudden. When his guards were about to pick it up for him, he stopped them and said :
" This must has a reason, I see this place is a very nice place , a place for deer to graze, for hoopoes to lay eggs, a place for shattered nations to be rebuild and for lives to be enjoyed, bury me here after my death."
Also according to the " Golden History", a chronicle book of the Mongols by a Mongol of 17th century:
" ( after the Khan's death,) shirts, yurts and socks (of the Khan) were buried there ( Ordos) and a false announcement was given ( to the Mongols) that (the Khan was buried there)".
So it is possible that the belongings of the Khan were buried in Ordos , posing as the real tomb ( the custom of the Mongols was/is , the remains of a person is buried underground without any sign, even a tombstone) to meet the Mongols' need to worship the Khan and then a few years later, the Eight White Ordon were set up around the place by the decree of Khubilai Khan.
Dr. Bimbaa Rintchin of Mongolia, prominent specialist in Mongolian language, culture and customs, had said to the Darkhad when he came to visit Ordos in 1950's:
" There are still various explanation over the burial place of Chinggis ( Genghis) among the experts. It is lucky for the people who live in felt tents ( the Mongols) that the Eight White Ordon have been preserved for hundred of years, no matter in which only shirts and yurts have been kept. Today, as the Eight White Ordon have become the peerless memorial of history and culture for the Mongols all over the world , so I am, Rintchin, showing my great appreciation to all of you, the Darkhad".
The Eight White Ordon were eight special yurts, each for one Shitugen to be kept in.
" Ordon", old Mongol "of Ordo". " ordo" means "palace" and " ordos" is the plural of a " ordo". The area where the Eight White Ordon had been preserved has been named " Ordos" (or " Urdus" as the Ordos people pronounce) ever since the Eight White Ordon were built there. The word " yurt" is the Russian pronunciation of " ordo" or " urdu". The word " Horde" of " Golden Horde Khanate" is also a alteration of the word " ordo". Modern term of a " yurt" in Mongol language is a " ger" or a " Mongol ger".
The yurts which constitute the Eight White Ordon ware called " Chomchog". The Chomchog was built exactly after the structure of the yurts of the time of Khubilai Khan. Therefore, both the structure and outline of the Chomchog is quite different than the modern time yurts of the Mongols.
The Chomchog looks like having a neck on its upper part. It is a real duplication of a kind of yurt used by the Mongols long time ago. Some elders said that, the Chomchog was used as a kind of camp yurt of the Khan when he was sick during his conquest.
The " Khana" ( wooden poles serve as the "wall" of the yurt) of the Chomchog are not like the modern day yurts. Instead of being stringed together by leather strings as of a now-a-day's yurt, the Khana of a Chomchog are simply a numbers of separate straight wooden poles. Both lower and upper ends of these poles are inserted into the holes of a " Ulavch" ( a square-shaped enclosed wooden band with holes on its upper side) and a " Morovch "( a wooden structure similar to the "Ulavch", but having holes on both sides) respectively. There are six poles ( Khana-in Mod) on the side ( southward side) which has the door and every nine poles ( including the corner poles) on the rest of each three sides. ( which means, 4 poles on the door side and each 7 poles on the rest of 3 sides, plus 4 corner poles, there are 29 poles all together) The height of a pole ( khana-in mod) is 5 Mongolian feet ( Tokhoi).
" Uni" are wooden poles, their lower ends are inserted into the holes of the upper side of the "Morovch" and the upper ends of the "Uni" are inserted into the holes on the " Khalgas" ( Khalgasu in classic Mongol, a wooden structure, looks like a huge upside-down deep wooden bowl). The lower ends of the "Uni" are bend inward and upper ends of the "Uni" are bend outward so that those Uni fit best into the holes. The length of "Uni" are 6 Tokhoi, except the four corner "Uni" which are about 6.5 feet.
These "Ulavch", "Khana", "Morovch", "Uni" and "Khalgas" constitute a " Gashi" and after the Gashi is covered with felts, it become a "Chomchog".
A " Golden Ganderi" ( or Golden Ganjir, a cone-shaped ornament made of metal, usually found on the roof of Lamaist temples ) was used to be placed on top of the Chomchog ( a sign of Lamaism influence in Mongol region) since the widespread of the Lamaism in Mongol region.
The " Toono" ( the top opening of a yurt, serve as a window of the yurt ) of the Chomchog is not on the center of the roof, it is on the lower front of the "Ganjir". During a ceremony, the upper part of the "Chomchog" would be covered with a golden colored cloth with a bluish green broad brim, this is why the Chomchog is also called "Golden Ordon".
The Eight White Ordon include the following eight ordons:
The Ordon of Genghis Khan and Bortegeljin Khatun
Bortegeljin Khatun : also known as Borte, Genghis Khan's senior wife; khatun, wife of a Khan.
Ejen-Khoroo ( Ejen: Lord; Khoroo or Khoroga in old Mongol: court;), the original place where the Ordon of Genghis Khan and Bortegeljin Khatun had lactated is on the back side of the Bor Tolgoit and Gojgor Ovoot ( two small hills ) which are on the west side of the Bayan-Changkhug river in Ejen-Khoroo Banner of Yikh Juu League (also known as Ordos), Inner Mongolia , about 50 Gajar ( Mongolian unit of linear measure, 1 Gajar equal to 1/2 Kilometer) southwest of today's Town of Altanshireet, the capital town of the Ejen-Khoroo Banner (Banner, administrative unit of Inner Mongolia, equal to a county).
A stele carved with "the original site of the Genghis Khan's mausoleum" was placed on the site in 1956 when the Ordon was removed to the new mausoleum by the Chinese government.
The original Ordon of Genghis Khan and his wife Bortegeljin Khatun was located on a granite platform, as a "double Chomchog", a structure of two joint Chomchogs.
A Khuurchag ( Khagurchag in classic Mongol, a case or chest) was placed in the center of the rear Chomchog ( remember, the Ordon was a double chomchog ) on a table, posing as the relic box of the Khan. The box was made of silver and 120x77x99.5 in dimensions. In the box were a relic bag on a small table and a painting of the Khan with his nine Orlog ( Orlog : the best and favorite generals of the Khan).
Also some old historical books about the Khan's ceremonies had been kept in the box. In front of the box, there were a portrait the Khan and a biography of the Khan since the 1910's. Various ceremonial implements had been kept in the Ordon. Unfortunately, these valueless historical treasures the Mongols had been preserving for hundreds of years were destroyed by the Chinese red guards in Sept 1966.
The Ordon of Khulan Khatun
The Ordon of Khulan Khatun had located in a place called " Khua-Tologai", 15 Gajar southwest of the Ejen-Khoroo. Khulan Khatun, the daughter of Dair-Usun, the chief of the tribe of Merged ( according to the Secret History), was Khan's second wife and the Khan was very fond of her. The Ordon of Khulan Khatun was also a "double Chomchog" and there was also a "Khuurchag" of Khulan Khatun, and a portrait of Genghis Khan with Khulan Khatun was kept in.
The Ordon of Gorveljin-goo Khatun
The original site of the Ordon of Gorveljin-goo Khatun is on the southern hill of Davaan Shili in the Bor-Tokhoi Sum, Jungar ( or Juun Gar) Banner, Ordos, 240 Gajar east of the Ejen-Khoroo. There have been many dispute over if Genghis Khan had had a wife called Gorveljin-goo. The Ordon was also a "double Chomchog", a "Khuurchag" of the Khatun made of sandalwood, coated by silver of gold plate had been kept in and there had been also two swords of the years of Genghis Khan and some historical and ceremonial books.
The Shitugen of the Ondogon Chagaan Horse
Ondogon Chagaan Horse was a pure white stallion standing for the sacred horse of the "Eternal Blue Heaven" in which the Khan believed. A live incarnation (Amid Burilwaa in Mongol) of the Ondogon Chagaan Horse was grazing freely in the vast grassland of Bor-Tokhoi and nobody should approach it except the Darkhad. If the Ondogon Chagaan Horse was getting old, a colt of between 1-2 years old ( Daaga) would be chosen to substitute the old .The eyes and hooves of the colt should be jet-black, and all the hairs of the colt should be snow-white, even should not supposed to have a string of colored hair after a few years. Any defects were not allowed in any organs of the colt. Since the "Shitugen" of the Ondogon Chagaan Horse was a live incarnation, there was no Ordon for the sacred horse.
The Ordon of the Bor-Undur
The Bor-Undur was a "Eseg-in Khunug" ( a bucket for fermented mare's milk ).
At the time when the Khan presented 99 white mares' milk offering to the Above 99 Heavens ( Tengger) by the river of Kherelun, he saved the milk in this bucket. Ever since then, this bucket had been used only when the Khan presents offering to the 99 Heavens every year. After the Khan's death, the bucket was used to save the white mare's milk offering to the "Everlasting Blue Heaven" during the Genghis Khan offering ceremonies. This Khunug also became one of the eight white"Shitugen" and given the name "Bor-Undur" by the decree of Khubilai Khan.
The bucket was a 3 "tokhoi" ( 1 Tokhoi = 1/3 meter) high sandalwood bucket with three silver hoops. Two silver crocodile heads, with a silver ring attached to each of them , were fixed on the rim of the bucket diametrically. The"Bor-Undur" had been presented offerings in a small temple by the east side of the Khatun-Gol ( Khatun-Gol, the Mongol name of the Yellow River or Huang-He) in Jungar Banner ( now this place belong to the West Tumed Banner). Elders said that, theBor-Undur was also placed in a Chomchog Ordon long time ago.
The Ordon of the Khor Saadag
Khor: the part of a quiver where the arrowheads are kept. Saadag: a quiver with arrows. A quiver is called a " Khoromsaga" or " Khoromsoo".
The Ordon of the Khor Saadag was a Ordon for the Khan's bows, arrows and quivers. The Ordon was a single Chomchog and located at a place called " Khudug", 7-8 Gajar south of the Ejen-Khoroo long time ago. Later it was moved to various places around the Ejen-Khoroo. In 1944, the Ordon was moved to Ejen-Khoroo and placed by the right side of the Khan's Chomchog. There were three bows and quivers with arrows kept in the Ordon. Bows were made of antlers ( ol buga-nii ever). One of the bow's bowstring was 5 Tokhoi long and another was 7 Tokhoi long. The arrowheads were made of steel and fixed on willow ( Burgas) sticks and eagle ( Burgud) feathers were glued to the ends of the sticks.
The Ordon of the Jiloo
Jiloo: a rein.
The Ordon of the Jiloo had two separate Ordon : the upper Khoroo of Jiloo and the lower Khoroo of Jiloo.
The upper Jiloo was a single Chomchog, located at the east side of the East Ulaan River, 90 Gajar northeast of the Ejen Khoroo. A Shitugen of a isabella ( yellowish, "Sharga") gelding, standing for the Khan's eight isabella geldings ( about the eight horses, refer to the "Secret History") had been presented offering here. Also a live incarnation of the isabella gelding was taken care by the Darkhad. A gold plated white sandal saddle, said to be used by the Khan, was also kept in the Ordon of the upper Jiloo. Except the saddle, a whole set of horse utensils, including Khajaar ( halter) , Jiloo ( rein), Doroo (stirrups), Golom (leather saddlecloth), Olong (the right-hand saddle girth), Jirem (the two left-side girths) and Daruulga (the two pairs of metal ornaments that holds the cushion to the saddle frame) and some gold and silver plates were kept there.
The lower Jiloo had been located south of the upper Jiloo ( so it was called lower Jiloo), around a place called " Khua-Tologai" in the south part of Jiun-Wang Banner. Around 1910's, that place was occupied by the Chinese peasants from the south, and the Ordon had to be moved to various places and finally emerged into the new Mausoleum in 1956. In the lower Jiloo Ordon, similar to the upper Jiloo, a live incarnation of the eight isabella geldings and an entire horse utensil had been presented offerings. The saddle kept there was decorated by steel-made designs.
Experts from Hungry and Mongolia during 1956-1962 confirmed that the saddle was a 12-century antique. The treasures kept in these Ordon were also destroyed or robbed by the Red Guard of China.
The Ordon of the Shang-in Orgoo
Shang: reward(s), award(s), prize(s); treasure. Orgoo: honorary term of a yurt.
This Ordon had located by the Ordon of Khan and Khatun. Golden and silver articles, jewelry and old books on Mongolian history and the Khan's ceremony had been kept in the Ordon. "Chagaan Tukh" ( White History), "Ulaan Tukh" ( Red History) "Shar Tukh" (Yellow History) and "Altan Bichig" (Golden Document/Book) were among the books.
Beside the above eight ordons compose the Eight White Ordon, there were also dozens of ordon Shitugen in Ordos. It is necessary to mention the " Sulde"( or Süld, means spirit, symbol or emblem in modern Mongol language) Shitugens because of their important role among the Mongols. There were Chagaan ( White), Khara ( Black) and Alag (black-and-white, multi-color or colorful) Suldes in Ordos.
Genghis Khan's Khara Sulde
The Khara Sulde or "Chinggis Khan-nii Kharia Yikhit Khara Sulde" is also called "Dorven Kholt Khara Sulde" ( Khara Sülde with four feet).
Folk stories mentioned that the Khara Sulde would be raised when the Khan was in a war. The Chagaan ( White) Sulde was raised during the time of peace or in a place away from war.
The Khara Sulde was the Khan's battlefield banner, standing for the power of the "Everlasting Blue Heaven" which can concentrate and mobilize the spirit and power of all Mongols to defeat their enemies in all time in all directions.
The place where the Khara Sulde was worshipped in Ordos was called "Shine-in Khushuu" in the former Jiun-Wang Banner where the Ulaan Muren river and Khokh Usun river meet. Later when the Chinese peasants started to cultivate the area, the Sulde was forced to move north, finally settled in now-a-day's Sulde-in Khoroo Gachaa ( Gachaa, the lowest Municipal unit in Inner Mongolia) of the Bor-Toig Sumu ( Sumu: township), Ejen-Khoroo Banner ( Banner: Khushuu in Mongol, County). On June 14 of the 1956, the Khara Sulde was moved to the new Mausoleum.
The Sulde consists of a about one Tokhoi long double-edged spearhead like steel called " Jelme", a plate like silver " Char" with 9x9=81 holes along the rim and a " Shilvi"--- a long wooden pole serve as the handle of the Sulde.
The "Char" would be fixed to the Jelme a short distance from the Jelme's lower end and the "Shilvi" would be inserted into hole on the lower end of the Jelme and would be wedged by a silver wedge ( Shongnuurga) and then the joint would be wrapped by white silk.
" Khukhuul", bunches of chestnut stallions mane, would be tied to the holes of the "Char" by leather strings made of black goat's skin. The "Shilvi", was 13.5 Tokhoi long and made of cedar. A 12 Tokhoi long yellow silk "coat" with 1000 buttons would be put onto the Sulde and a supporting Shilvi would also be fixed to the main Shilvi to ensure the main Sulde's stability. Then the Sulde's main Shilvi and the supporting Shilvi would be inserted into the holes on the back of giant a stone-carved tortoise.
Four " Elchi" ( means a messenger or courier , sometimes assistant of a Khan) Sulde ( Elchi Sulde was shorter than the main Sulde, the Shilvi of the Elchi Sulde was 9 Tokhoi) stand around the main Sulde and fastened up to the main Sulde with a 13 Tokhoi long rope made of stallion mane with yellow silk coat. The four Elchi Sulde stand around the main Sulde serve as the four feet of the Khara Sulde.
Since the Sulde was said to descend from the high Heaven, it should always be exposed to the Heaven and accompany with the Heaven, and for this reason, the Sulde had been offered in open place for hundreds of years and it should never be placed under any shelter. Also, because the Sulde was the Khan's very important Shitugen, the offering ceremonies of the Sulde had been held separately from the ceremonies of the Khan and had its unique procedures and schedules of ceremonies.
The offering ceremonies of the Khara Sulde were: Baga Dailga ( baga means small or not big, dailga means offering ceremony), held on every 1st days of a month and a Jalgamj--- continuing offering were held on each 3rd days of a month, Juslang-in Dailga ( summer time ceremony) , held on the 3 day of the 7th month of a year according to the Ordos calendar (the 7th month is the 1st month of the summer). Yikh Dailga (grand offering), held on 14th day of the 10th month of a year by Ordos calendar and Togshiulkh Dailga on the 5th day of the first month of the winter in every Dragon year.
Alag Sulde had been presented offerings in the Nangsu Gachaa of Chagaan-Tologai Sumu, Otog Banner for many years. It had its own Darkhad and Yaamutad. According to elders in the area, the Alag Sulde was the Sulde of Khavutu Khasar, one of younger brother of the Khan and known to the world by his excellent archery skills. The Alag Sulde was similar to the Khara Sulde except the decoration on its Shilvi and Ochir Jelme ( the spear-like steel).
It was called Alag Sulde, likely because of that decorations. The Khukhuul of the Alag Sulde was also made of the mane of chestnut stallions ( not from black and white stallions as some people say).
Yisun Kholt Chagaan Tug ( white banner with 9 feet. Tug: banner or flag) or Yisun Khukhuul Chagaan Tug (white banner with 9 Khukhuul) was mentioned in many historical works of the Mongols.
The White Sulde ( or Tug) was presented offerings not only in Ordos, also in Chakhar ( Chakhar: an area including parts of today's Shilin-Gol League, Ulaanchab League , also known as Chakhar Eight Banners) and Khalkha (now-a-day's Mongolia). The place where the Chagaan Sulde had been kept is Muu-Bulag Gachaa, Narin-Gol Sumu, Uushin Banner. The Khukhuul of the White Sulde was made of mane of white stallions and 8 Elchi Sulde surrounded the main Sulde. The offering ceremonies of the White Sulde had been held several times a years ( one of the ceremony was held in the 13th day of the 8th month, Ordos calendar) and a grand ceremony was in held every 3 year.
According to Russian Mongolist Vladimirtsov ( "The history of the social structure of the Mongols"?), a Chagaan Sulde was also kept in the Logosiid Banner in Khalkha and held offering ceremony in every 3 years.
The Darkhad and the YaamutadOrigin of the Darkhad:
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, the Darkhad are people who were put together by the decree of Khubilai Khan ( also known as Khubilai Sechin Khan among the Mongols) to handle the Eight White Ordon's ceremonial matters and protect the ordons.
By the Darkhad elders, they ( the Darkhad) are the descendants of the 500 households who were called up from almost all tribes of the 400,000 blue Mongols in the Horse year of Khubilai Sechin Khan to guard the ordons. Darkhad is not a name of a Mongol tribe, the 500 families were from various tribes, such as Kherid ( a tribe lived in Midwest of Khalkha), Shiranod ( said to be from the Altai mountain) and Oirad ( western Mongols, lived in the area of Dzungar). Since they were exempt from any taxation and military service and had the right to collect the needs for offerings from anybody, they were called Darkhad (one meaning of the "darkhan" is someone freed from taxation or official duties) .
The Darkhad had two groups, one was called Baruun (west side or right wing, right hand side ) Yaamutad and another was Juun ( east side or left wing or left hand side) Yaamutad. The Baruun Yaamutad was also called Yikh Tala ( grand side) or Bogd-in Darkhad ( Darkhad of the Bogd. Bogd: holly or holiness, Lord. a term to address sb. is considered holly among the Mongols, such as Genghis Khan) and the Juun Yaamutad was also called "Baga Tala" ( minor side) or Sulde-in Darkhad ( Darkhad of Sulde).
Arulad ( descendants of Boorchu's clan, who was a long time friend and one of the best general of the Khan), Kherid ( descendants of Wang Khan's tribe, who was the sworn brother of the Khan's father), Joigurchin, Baragud, Merged, Boronud, Torgod, Mangud, Orod, Khongirad were among the Baruun Yaamutad and Jalair ( descendants of Mukhulai's tribe, who was also a close friend and one of the best general of the Khan) and Khonkhotan, Agtachin, Khonichin, Suldus, Sonid, Longkhochin, Bagatur ( Baatar), Oriyankhan were among the Juun Yaamutad ( beside these people, many others were also among the Darkhad. Also, apparently, the names of the tribe/clan such as Agtachin, Khonichin are not the original names of the people. About the names of tribes in Ordos, can refer to works of A. Montaert of Belgium and others) .
The administrative system of the Darkhad
The administrative structure of the Darkhad was set up by the Khubilai Khan's decree and had maintained its original shape for long time. During the Manchu Empire's rule over Mongolia, in spite of fatal changes had been made to the original Mongolian administrative structure ( such as setting up the Banners and Leagues) , the Darkhad's administrative structure had been kept alone without major changes.
Jinong was the highest official ( Noyan) of the Darkhad. During the Mongol Empire, Jinong was a high ranking official in charge of the ceremonial affairs and after the Mongol state returned to Mongolia (in 1368, Toghon-Temur Khan retreated from Peking to Mongolia with his officials when the Chinese rebellions reached Peking and the Mongol state had been lasted in Mongolia until 1634, when the last Grand Khan of the Mongols died in Khokh-Nuur and the Manchu people took over the Inner Mongolia) , the Jinong title was shifted to the official who mainly in charge of the state affairs ( a role similar to prime minister) and also in charge of the ceremonial affairs additionally.
Under the Manchu rule, the authority of the Jinong was greatly reduced, but still remained as a head of the Darkhad and appointed directly by the Manchu court.It was common during the Manchu empire that the governor of the League ( or Chuulgan) or even a head of a Banner was appointed as a Jinong. After the Manchu empire's collapse in 1911, the administrative structure of the Darkhad was also remained and the governor of the Yikh Juu Chuulgan ( league) Shagdarjab was the Jinong and after his death his son Ochir-Khuyagtu succeed the Jinong and finally, Tobshin-Jirgal, governor of the Jiun-Wang Banner was in charge of the Jinong until his death in Jan. 1949. The Communist Chinese government then abolished the whole administrative system of the Darkhad, along with the Jinong and there has been no Jinong since then.
A Jinong was neither a Darkhad nor a Yaamutan (Yaamutan: single form of Yaamutad) and only a person who belongs to the Altan Urug ( Golden Branch, people who are descendants of the Khan) should be qualified to the Jinong position.
Yaamutad were a kind of officials among the Darkhad in charge of holding the offering ceremonies and other matters related to the Eight White Ordon and the ceremonies. As I mentioned, the Jinong had been the head of the Darkhad, but generally, the Jinong had been a kind of honorary title of the official who attend and hold the ceremonies on behalf of the Mongol court. The Jinong had been not in charge of the daily/routine matters of the ceremonies and instead of Jinong, the Yaamutad had been handling these matters.
People usually said there were eight Yaamutad, but in fact, except the Eight Grand Yaamutad ( Naiman Yikh Yaamutad), there were many other Yaamutad. I mentioned before that there were Right Wing Yaamutad and Left Wing Yaamutad among the Darkhad, the 8 Grand Yaamutad known to the people were the 8 executive ( Guichetkheekh) Yaamutad of the Right Wing. These 8 Yaamutad were:
Taishii: Taishii Yaamutad were the executive head of the Darkhad. There were Manglai Taishii, Ailtkhal Taishii, Akhalakh Taishii and Taishii among the Taishii Yaamutad.
Taibuu: in charge of preparations and arrangements of the ceremonies. There were Chargi Taibuu, Akhalakh Taibuu and Taibuu.
Manglai: in charge of the general matters. Also in charge of starting ( announcing) all the ceremonies. Dotor-in Manglai, Gadna-in Manglai, Yikh Manglai and Baga Manglai were the titles of the Manglai Yaamutad.
Khonjin: In charge of the music and songs during a ceremony. There were Chargich Khonjin, Yoroolch Khonjin, Yilguusan Khonjin.
Khokhoo: also called " Khokhchin", in charge of reading the oaths and odes to the Khan during a ceremony and also in charge of announcing a khan's decree during the Darkhad collecting needs from the Mongols. The Khokhoo also had Wuijing Khokhchin, Ching Jorigtu Wuijing Khokhchin, and Khokhchin these three titles.
Tuuli: in charge of presenting the offerings during the ceremonies.
Khasaa ( khasaga in classical Mongol): in charge of maintaining the order during the ceremonies. There were Jasuul Khasaa, Akhlakh Khasaa and Khasaa.
Charvi ( Charbi in old Mongol): in charge of serving ( pouring ) the wine ( Sarkhud) during the ceremonies. Ugtuul Charvi, oolon Charvi, Khariulch Charvi were the titles of the Charvi Yaamutad.
Except these Eight Grand Yaamutad of the Right Wing, there had been also many right wing Yaamutad such as Khuur-Chargit, Khariul-Manglai, Galch, Yorooch, Ugtuul, Sungch, Jasuul,
Khaalgach, Khuj-Jalagch, Charguch. But these Yaamutad hadn't had the administrative authority over Darkhad.
Juun ( left wing) Yaamutad:
The left wing/side Yaamutad were also called Sulde-in Darkhad ( Darkhad of the Sulde) or BagaTala ( minor side). The Left Yaamutad somehow had kept the Mongolian military structure innovated by the Khan. Elders said the Baruun Yaamutad were from the Mongolian court/government and the Juun Yaamutad were from the army. There were also eight major Yaamutad among the Left Wing:
Jaisang, Chingsang, Tumetu, Mingatu, Juutu, Tuuli, Khokhchin and Charvi.
Beside these eight major Yaamutad , there were also Yaamutad such as Shuurugchi, Khushuuchi Baator, Darkhan Baator, and Gavshgai Baator among the Left wing.
Darkhad were people who were subjected to be in the mourning for the Khan's death forever by the decree of the Khubilai Khan, so they should not take any official positions, should not be in any other mourning and also were exempt from any taxation and official duties.
The offering ceremonies of Genghis KhanFrom the very beginning, the Mongols have been conducting offering ceremonies to their ancestors and the "Everlasting Blue Heaven".
The offering ceremonies to Genghis Khan's Ordon Shitogen can be described into Susug-in Dailga, Monthly Dailga and seasonal Dailga these three categories.
Susug-in Dailga(s) were held on the request of the pilgrims. Pilgrims could choose any appropriate days/time to offer their offerings to the Khan. Offerings could be least from a Khem (about 1/2 kg) of butter to a "Buda Mal" (Buda Mal, the "large cattle", including horses, camels and ox).
Monthly and seasonal Dailga(s) had had fixed days and offerings.
Chagaan Sar-in Dailga: Chagaan Sar ( means White Moon or White Month in Mongol) is the first month of a year according to the Mongol/Ordos calendar. Chagaan Sar-in Dailga were held in the first day of the Chagaan Sar (Shiniin Negen in Mongol) and the third day of the Chagaan Sar (Shiniin Gurvan).
The offerings on the Shiniin Negen were: 9 sheep's otkho ( cooked whole sheep/ox/horse also called Shuus) , 9 Khem ( 1 khem wine = 1/2kg) wine, Over 100 kg Jangsa Boorsog ( a kind of braided pastry/cookie fried in butter), 3 buckets of jujubes ( ulaan chavga), 5 kg combinations of rock candy, sugar, cane sugar, honey and raisin.
The offering procedure, according to an old ceremonial book were:
Presenting Nindar (silk or khadag---a long narrow, specially made band of silk or other material for presentation on formal occasions as a gift or mark of esteem), presenting Jula ( butter lamp ), presenting otkho , presenting Khuji ( incense stick), Gal Takhikh (presenting offerings to fire, usually wine and pieces of cooked fat of sheep tail), Arban Yaamu Tookh ( distributes the shares to the 10 Yaamutad, certain Yaamutad would take certain pieces of meats of the otkho), Yikh ochig ochikh (reading the grand oath), presenting Sarkhud (wine offering), Singing the 12 songs, Yaamu Tookh ( distributing the shares to the 8 Yaamutad, they also would get certain pieces of meats) , Gadnaa-in Yorool Tevinee (reading Yorool of outside. Yorool: an article addressed for blessing or praising, a benediction ), Dotor Khuji Duudnaa (reading the Yorool of incense), Chagu Khariulnaa (returning the wine. Chagu: a ceremonial implement for holding small amount of wine, a kind of wine cup. khariulnaa: take something back to its original place, buchaanaa), otkho Khariulnaa ( returning the otkho ), Khunkh-in Yorool Tevinee ( reading the Yorool of khunkh. khunkh, a ceremonial implement for holding large amount of wine ).
These procedures, however, were somehow altered since the time of the wide spreading of the Lamaism in Mongol region. A Lamaism benediction called "Ejen Sang (or Ubsang)" was read in the beginning of every Dailga (the Ejen Sang would be read again in the afternoon).
The Chagaan Sar-in Dailga conducted in early years of this century had the following procedure: Ejen Sang Tevikh (conducting the Ejen Sang, such as burning Archa--- juniper leaves and incense ) and reciting the Ejen Sang (click here to read a section of the Ejen Sang in Mongol), Golomt Takhikh ( Golomt: hearth or fireplace in a yurt. Golomt Takhikh: present offerings to the hearth) and reciting the Golomt ochig, presenting the Nindar offering and reciting the Nindar Daatgal ( Daatgal : an article read in a prayer ), presenting the Jula offering and reciting the Jula Daatgal, reciting the ochig, presenting the otkho offering and reciting the otkho Daatgal, presenting the Sarkhud offering and reciting the Sarkhud Daatgal, singing the 12 songs, presenting the incense offering and reciting the incense Daatgal, reciting the Khonkh Daatgal , returning the otkho (from the offering table) and Yaamu Tookh (Yaamutad took their shares of the otkho).
The offerings of the Shiniin Gurvan were: 3 sheep's otkho, 3 Khem of Arikh ( wine) and certain amount of Boorsog and sweets and candies.
Second month's Dailga ( in Ordos Calendar , the 2nd month of a year is the Tavan Sar or the fifth month): On the Shiniin Negen (first day of the month) : a sheep, a khem of Arikh (wine).
On the Shiniin Gurvan (the 3rd day): 3 sheep, 3 khem of Arikh. Of course there were Boorsog and sweets, needless to mention. I'll only mention the "big offerings" in the followings.
Third month's Dailga (Jurgaan Sar or the 6th month in Ordos calendar): same as the 2nd month's Dailga. The 21st day of this month was the main day of the Genghis Khan's Grand Dailga---"Chagaan Surugin Yikh Dailga".
Fourth month's Dailga ( Doloon Sar or the 7th month in Ordos) : same as the 2nd month.
In every 3 years, the Gashi of the Khan's Ordon would be renewed. The renewal would start from the Shiniin Naiman (the 8th day of a month) of this month and an offering of 1 sheep and 1 khem Arikh would presented on the day before the renewal start.
Fifth month's Dailga (Naiman Sar or the 8th month in Ordos) : the Shiniin Negen and Shiniin Gurvan Dailga were same as the 2nd month's Dailga.
From 10 to 12 in this month, a offering ceremony called "the Miliyaguud-in Dailga (Chomchog Ordon-aan miliakh)" especially for the Khan's Chomchog Ordon would be held.
Sixth month's Dailga ( Yisun Sar or the 9th month in Ordos): the Shiniin Negen and Shiniin Gurvan Dailga were same as the 2nd month's Dailga.
A series of Dailga called "Uurag Khurgan Dailga" would be held between 10-25 of this month. Seventh month's Dailga ( Arvan Sar or the 10th month in Ordos): the Shiniin Negen and Shiniin Gurvan Dailga were same as the 2nd month's Dailga . The 27th day of this month was the day of Taij-in Dailga ( Taij: people who are the descendants of the Khan). a otkho of a mare and 9 sheep, 9 khem Arikh would be offered during this Dailga.
Eighth month's Dailga (Dund Sar or Teriun Khuiluur/Khoolour Sar in Ordos): same as the 2nd month's Dailga .
Ninth month's Dailga (Suul Sar or Suul-in Khuiluur/Khoolour Sar in Ordos): same as the 2nd month's Dailga .
Tenth month's Dailga (ovol-in Ekhin Sar --- the first month of the winter--- in Ordos): the Shiniin Negen Dailga was same as the 2nd month's Dailga . About the Shiniin Gurvan Dailga, see the Seasonal Dailga.
Eleventh month's Dailga (Khara Khujir Sar in Ordos): same as the 2nd month's Dailga .
Twelfth month's Dailga (ooljin Sar in Ordos): the Shiniin Negen and Shiniin Gurvan Dailga were same as the 2nd month's Dailga .
The 23rd day of this month (on 24th day in some places) is the day to present offering to the fire (Gal Takhikh). On this day a grand offering of 3 sheep and 3 khem Arikh would be presented to the Golomt of the Khan's Ordon.
On Bituun (the last day of a year according to the Mongol/Ordos calendar), there would be also a Dailga.
The Seasonal Dailga:
Esug-in Dailga of the spring: held on the 21st day of the 3rd month. Refer to the "Chagaan Surugin Yikh Dailga".
Nuur-in Yikh Dailga of the summer: Nuur: a lake. Yikh: grand, big, large.
This Dailga had been held on the 15th day of the 5th month.
otkho of 9 sheep and a mare along with 9 khem Arikh were the offering presented during this Dailga. A ceremonial article called "Altan Ordon nu/ni Yikh Manglai Tool" would be recited only at this Dailga.
Shurgin Dailga of the Autumn/Fall: Shurge: a halter (?) for a Unaga ( unaga, a horse under the age of 1 year, a foal). 12th day of the 8th month of a year was the day of this dailga. Offerings presented at this Dailga were same as the Summer Dailga mentioned above.
Tesemen Dailga of the winter: Teseme/Tesme: straps made of animal (esp. a goat) skin.
The 3rd day ( Shiniin Gurvan) of the 10th month of a year was the day of this Dailga. Offerings were same as the Summer Dailga mentioned above.
Chagaan Surugin Yikh Dailga was the Dailga of the spring (also called Esug-in Dailga) and was the largest Dailga of the Khan and the Eight White Ordon. It is necessary to give some details of this grand Dailga in particular.
The Chagaan Surugin Yikh Dailga
According to "Altan Bichig", a classic record of the Dailga of the Eight White Ordon, the following amounts of offerings were subjected to the Dailga : "Ordos Tumen ( Ordos Tumen, can be directly translated into the 10,000 people of Ordos. The people of Inner Mongolia are mainly the descendants of the Mongol army. a Tumen or Tumetu which consists of 10,000 soldiers or 1000 Arbatu or 100 Juutu or 10 Mingatu, was the largest unit of the Mongol military structure innovated by the Khan. So we can say in some level that the Ordos people are probably the descendants of the Tumen which garrisoned in Ordos) a horse, 100 Arikh, Uriyankhan/Uriyankhai and Chakhar Tumen also a horse each, 100 Arikh each, Yushiebu 3 horse, 300 Arikh, Khalkha 3 horse, 300 Arikh, Tumed 3 horse and 300 Arikh,.... Khagan ( Khagan, the Grand Khan or the Khan of the Khans in classic Mongol writing ), Jinong 3 Araja, Khaad ( plural of Khan. Khan was usually a head of a League or sons of the Khagan in classic Mongol writing) 2 Araja, Taij 1 Araja, ...", . Beside the great amount of the offerings, also its long lasting time and the great scale of the Dailga made this Dailga became the largest Dailga of the Khan.
The preparation of the Dailga:
The preparation of the Chagaan Surugin Yikh Dailga would start from the 10th day of the 3rd month.
The bridge over the Changkhug river east of the Khan's Ordon should be fixed well for the passing of the Khan's Ordon when the Eight White Ordon assemble together on the Dailga.
The assemble of the Eight White Ordon ( Naiman Chagaan Ordon Jigilekh):
Only on the Chagaan Surugin Dailga, the Eight White Ordon would come together ( Jigilekh). In the night of the 17th day of the month, the Eight White Ordon should all come to the Ejen Khoroo.
The Khan's Ordon, the Ordon of Khulan Khatun, the Ordon of Khor-Saadag, the Ordon of the Jiloo and the Ordon of the Shang should come to the west bank of the Changkhug river and the Ordon of Gorveljin-goo khatun, the Ordon ofBor-Undur and the Ondogon Chagaan Horse should come the east bank.
On the 18th day of the month, the Khan's relic box and the Bortegeljin Khatun's relic box ( Chindar-in Khuurchag) would be loaded into the Chomchog of the Khor-Saadag on the Shara Khasag (Khasag, Mongolian traditional cart made of w ood; Shara, yellow) and the cart would be pulled by two white camels to the west bank of the river where the Khan's Golden Ordon was set up.
The Jinong and the Khan's descendants ( Altan Urug), all ranks of officials would follow the cart right behind and ordinary Mongols (Khara, Shara ) would also follow behind. After the Khan's relic box was placed into the Golden Ordon, a offering would be offered to every Ordon and then the eight ordons would be led to their official ceremonial locations:
The Ordon of Khor Saadag would be at the west most, then the Ordon of Jiloo, the Ordon of the Khan ( Golden Ordon), the Ordon of the Shang, the Gorveljin-goo Khatun's Ordon , and the Ordon of Bor undur would be aligned into a line from the west the east. The Ondogon Chagaan Horse would be tied in front of the Borundur.
Then an offering would be presented to all the Ordon.
There would be no Dailgas on the 19th day. Pilgrims can offer their own offerings on this day.
On the 20th day, a Dailga called "Garil (or Garili)" would be conducted. 8 sheep and a horse would be presented to the Eight Ordon. A ceremony of special style would be held during this Dailga.
The Grand Dailga on the 21st day:
In the morning of the day, the "Altan Gadas" ( Altan: Golden; Gadas: a pole for tying horse; This " pole", however, was not a real pole, a person would pose as a pole) would be set up in front of the Ondogon Chagaan Horse ( however, the horse would not be tied to the Altan Gadas). The man posing as the pole was said to be a descendant of one who had committed crime ( the tale is : there was a real golden pole before. But somebody stole and sold the pole. Then he was put into the position of the pole after being captured). The person's feet would be buried in sand and something should be written on the sand (it is unclear what was the writings now).
Esug-in Sachulga (tsatslag):
Esug: mare's milk. Sachulga: act of casting milk or wine to the heaven or the earth for blessing sb. or asking for blessing.
At the dragon hour of the day, the Darkhad would lead Jinong and other official to the table set up in front of the Ondogon Chagaan Horse and would present a otkhoo and a khem of Sarkhud to the horse and the horse would be decorated by 3x9=27 white silk bands. After then, they would enter the Golden Ordon and offer Jula ( butter lamp), Khuj ( incense) and 3 Tavig (or Tabig).
Then a khem of Sarkhud and a otkho would be presented to theBor-Undur. 300 Jing ( 1 Jing=1/2 kg) of 99 white mare's milk would be filled in theBor-Undur and the Esug would be cast into the air and onto the earth, first by the Jinong, then the officials of the Banners. They would run around theBor-Undur, Altan Gadas and the White Horse one by one and use a implement called " Chochoge" to cast the milk. An article called the "99 white mare milk's casting yorool" (99 Chagagchin nii Suun Sachulgan nii yorool) would be recite when the Sachulga starts.
The Grand Dailga inside the Ordon
After having started the Sachulga, Jinong would return to the Golden Ordon to hold the Grand Dailga. Meanwhile, Taijs would hold the Dailga of the other ordons. Thus the offering ceremony of this Grand Dailga of the Eight White Ordon would start.
First, at the Jinong's arrival, a sheep called "Shivshilgen nii khoni" would be killed (by the way, the custom of the Mongols to kill a sheep is : first a short cut would be cut on the belly of a sheep and the man who kill the sheep stretches his hand through the opening to the sheep's back bone and tear up the artery next to the backbone) by the Galch Yaamutu when the Jinong was holding down the sheep. The Khokhechin Yaamutu would read the Yorool of Shivshilge.
Then, the Jinong would lead the group, kneeling down on the carpet in front of the Khan's relic box to present offering to the Golomt. Tuuli and Charbi Yaamutu would present the offerings. Meanwhile, "Golden Ordon's Grand ochig of the Golomt" (Altan Ordon nii Golomt-in Yikh ochig) would be read. After presenting the offerings to the Golomt, Ninder, Jula and otkho would be presented to the Khan. Then the "Gadana -in Dailga" (outside Dailga) would start.
Jinong and the group would move to outside of the Golden Ordon and Jinong would present three times of Sarkhud and then all officials and Taijs would present their Sarkhud offerings until the 12 songs came to the end. After the 12 songs, Yikh Duu ( Yikh: grand, big; Duu: song) would start. After the Yikh Duu, Khokhochin Yaamutan and other Yaamutan would read the Yikh ochig. After then, Sungch, Manglai, Jasuul and Khaalgach these four Darkhad would present wine offerings and "Gadana-in Yorool" ( Yorool of outside) would be read by the Khokhochin Yaamutu. Then the wine ( Sarkhud) would be distributed to all the Mongols who came to the Dailga as share ( Kheshig) of the Dailga.
Then Jinong and the group would move into the Chomchog of the Khan again to start the "Dotora-in Dailga" (inside Dailga). Jinong and officials would present the sarkhud prepared by the Darkhad and the Khokhochin Yaamutu would read the "Dotora-in Yorool" ( Yorool of inside). Then the Kheshig ( share) of the Inside Dailaga would be distributed. There were fixed rule that different titles of Yaamutad would take different parts of the meat (with bones) from the otkho. Thus, the Dailga at the Ordon would come to an end and Mongols from all places could enter the Golden Ordon to pay their tribute to the Khan.
Yaamutad should lead the pilgrims, no matter they were Taij or Kharach, poor or rich, to present their offerings to the Khan. Names of the pilgrims would be announced and Yorool would be read while the pilgrims presenting their offerings.
After the inside Dailga, the Jinong would return to the Esug-in Sachulga which would have been continuing when the Dailga was held in the Ordon to finish the Sachulga. When the Sachulga came to an end, Jinong would announce the removal of the Altan Gadas. Upon the announcement, the Altan Gadas would head the northwest with his full speed and should not come to the Ejen Khoroo again during this Dailga. Khadags, copper and silver coins offered by the pilgrims to the Altan Gadas would belong to the poor man.
Right after then, a ceremony called "Altan Khundaga Shinjikh" ( Altan Khundaga: golden wine cup; Shinjikh: to observe, to study, to inspect;) would be held . The Jinong would place a golden wine cup on the rump of the Ondogon Chagaan Horse and it was said that the Everlasting Blue Heaven would bless the Mongols in the coming year if the cup fell upward on the ground. This observation of the Golden Cup would be conducted three times.
It was said that this was a custom at the time when the Khan was alive. Then the Jinong would come to the Batu Jele ( Batu: firm, strong, loyal; Jele or Zel: a long rope stretched along the ground to which livestock are attached, tethers for livestock) on which white foals were already tied. Jinong would hold cupful of Airag (fermented milk) in a silver cup and start to asking the blessing for the Batu Jele and the foals. This ceremony was called Batu Jele Miliyakh. A Yorool called Yorool of Batu Jele would be read. Thus, the daytime Dailga would come to an end.
Dailga in the night:
Ceremonies of Jutai Shingeekh, Khutug Miliyakh and Dalalga Dalalkh would be held during the night of 21.
The customs on the Dailga:
Men who attend the Dailga should wear Deel ( the traditional Mongol garment), hat and Gutul (Mongolian traditional boots).
Women also should wear Deel, boots and hat or silk scarf.
Foreigners and women were used not to be allowed to enter the Ordons.
The miserable fate of the Eight White OrdonFor hundreds of years, the Eight White Ordon of the Khan had been preserved as they were built in the beginning and the offering ceremonies had been held year after year without disturbance and interruption. The Eight White Ordon had become the only sacred place for the Mongols, even the Mongols had been converted to the Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism) and thousands of temples had been built all around the lands of the Mongols. As the founder of the Mongol nation, the Khan has been regarded as the son of the Everlasting Blue Heaven and has become the only icon that can inspire and unite the Mongols together.
During the Manchu Empire (1636-1911), the Mongols had high autonomy and the Eight White Ordon , their offering ceremonies and pilgrimage to the Eight White Ordon were protected by the Manchu court. However, followed by the decline of the Manchu empire, the Eight White Ordon and the reserved lands of the Darkhad around the ordons faced increasing disturbance and destruction from the Chinese. Cultivation by the Chinese peasants in the reserved lands of the Darkhad had become the great threat to the Ordon's existence since the Manchu empire's collapse in 1911 and some of the ordons have had to move from their original locations to avoid the disturbance. Desertification, as the result of the cultivation, had totally changed the scene of the beautiful land which the Khan's had admired and chosen as his burial place.
On May 17, 1939, over 200 full armed Chinese (China was controlled by the KMT at the time) soldiers and officials came to the Ejen-Khoroo and started to remove the Khan's relic box from Ejen Khoroo. Under the pretext of protecting the Ordon from the Japanese (at the time, Japanese reached Khokh-Khot ( or Hohhot), the Capital of Inner Mongolia and Bugut, a city about 200 km east of Ejen- Khoroo, the city is also called Bao Tou by the Chinese), they took the relic box of the Khan with them forcibly, despite the protests from the Darkhad and the Ordos Mongols.
A journalist had witnessed the event and wrote: " Genghis Khan's relic box was taken from the holy land of Ejen-Khoroo through the sea of tears of the Ordos Mongols". The KMT government resettled the Khan's relic box in a Taoist Temple in the mountain of Xing Longshan in Gan Su province of China. About 40 Darkhad had accompanied with the relic box to the temple and they had been presenting the offerings to the Khan continuously.
After the W.W.II, the Chinese government still kept holding the Khan's Ordon although there were increasing demands from the Mongols, including Prince Demchegdongrov to return the relic box to the Ejen-Khoroo. Meanwhile, although the Khan's relic box was taken from the Ejen Khoroo, the Mongols had been continuously conducting the offering ceremonies to the Khan. A portrait of the Khan was on the position where the relic box had been kept.
Also the governor of the Yikh-Juu Chuulgan ( Ordos) and other officials had been visiting the temple where the Khan's relic box was kept. In the late summer of 1949, the KMT government removed the Khan's relic box again with them to the Kumbum (known as Gumbum among the Mongols) monastery in Khokh-Nuur when they were defeated by the Communists and retreated southwestward. Dozen's of Darkhad came with the Khan's relic box to Kumbum and Mongol Lamas (Lama: Buddhist monks of Tibet and Mongolia) , including Ulaan Gegen, who were at the monastery at the time welcomed and arranged a place for the Khan's relic box in the monastery.Then the offering ceremonies were continued again.
About 20 days after the Khan's relic box arrived in Kumbum, the monastery was " liberated" by the People's Liberation Army" ( PLA) and the Khan's relic box fell into the hands of the Communist China. Mongols from all over the places, including Alagsha, Ordos, Khökh-Nuur and Jungaria (the Oirad Mongols) came to the Kumbum to pay their tribute and offerings to the Khan during the time. In 1950, the PLA reached the Ordos and then took over the Ordos and entire Inner Mongolia after encountering with a series of strong resistance from the Mongols.
Only in my hometown, Uushin banner of Ordos, about 400 Mongol soldiers were killed when they were rounded up by the PLA. My grandfather was a horse keeper of the local Mongol army and he was taking care of the horses at the night when the PLA rounded up the camp and he became one of the few who were able to escape. The next day, two of my mother's brothers, both about 10 years old at the time, sneaked up to the battle scene and found hundreds of corpses laying in the wilds.
The most shocking image they would never forget was two Buddhist monks, with their yellow kasaya (an outer vestment of a Buddhist monk) on and Buddhist sutra in their hands, were found among the dead. After the PLA took control of the banner, they executed many people charging them of being counter-revolutionary. The governor of the Uushin banner Khas-Uul (also known as Qi Yushan) was the first to be executed. Also many were "struggled" to death in the waves of political campaigns ever after, including the horrifying "cultural revolution".
The communist Chinese government, in one hand, they still kept holding the Khan's relic Box in Kumbum Monastery and in other hand, abolished the entire administrative system of the Darkhad in Ordos and turned the Khan's Grand Dailga --- the Chagaan Surugin Dailga into a entertaining event of combination of sports, movie show and songs and dances which became the part of the communist propaganda machine.
On April 7, 1954, by the continuous demands from the Mongols, the Khan's relic box finally returned to the Ejen Khoroo. On the day of the Khan's relic box's returning to Ejen Khoroo, a 15 Gajar long road to Ejen Khoroo was packed with thousands of Mongols emerged from all over the region. They burst into tears of joy and offered milk, Khadag, butter lamp and other offerings to the Khan's relic box which had been away from them for 15 years all the way.
The New Mausoleum of the Genghis Khan
On April 23, 1954, the Chinese government announced that they would build a mausoleum for the Khan on the top of the Altan Gandari hill (Altan Gangari-in shili), without asking for the Darkhad and Mongols' opinions. A typical Chinese imperial palace style mausoleum that consists of main hall, rear hall, east hall, west hall, east wing hall and west wing hall along with a front yard and a rear garden, in spite of the roofs of the main and east, west hall's imitation over Mongol yurt, was designed by the government and completed in May, 1956. All the Eight White Ordon and other historical relics were summoned to the new mausoleum by the Chinese government.
The relics summoned to the new mausoleum were:
Genghis Khan and Bortegeljin Khatun's Chomchog Ordon along with the relic boxes and all the ceremonial utensils;
The Ordon of the Shang-in Orgoo and utensils and books kept inside the Ordon;
Shitugen of Khor Saadag;
Chomchog Ordon of Khulan Khatun and relic box along with the ceremonial utensils;
Shitugen of the Eshi Khatun; Eshi Khatun: said to be the Khatun of Toloi. This Ordon had located by the Shabartai river east of the Ejen Khoroo.
Khara Sulde and its ceremonial utensils;
Upper Jiloo Ordon along with its live incarnation of the isabella gelding;
Khashkhiraa Yikht Khadan Ulaan Buree; a large wooden horn said to be used by the Khan's army. Later used to blow the horn during the ceremony of Khara Sulde.
A Khet and a small golden statue of Toloi and other utensils kept in the Toloi's Ordon Shitugen in Otog Banner; Khet: a steel tool used by the Mongols for striking fire; Toloi: the youngest son of the Khan and father of Monkh Khan and Khubilai khan.
Alag Sulde of Khavutu Khasar;
Shitugen of Bokh Belgudei; Bokh Belgudei or Belgudei: he was the half brother of the Khan and one of the best general of the Khan.
Tug Sulde Shitugen of the Uigurjin Kharia ( tribe);
Khara Tug of the Khadagin;
Ejen Shitugen, Khanggin Sulde, Chomchog Ordon and utensils from Khanggin Banner ; Uigurjin , Khadagin and Khanggin are all Mongol tribes.
A saddle presented to the Khan by the Ligdan Khutugtu Khan from Khanggin Banner; Ligdan Khutugtu Khan (1592-1634): the last Grand Khan of the Mongols.
The Chomchog Ordon of Gorveljin-goo Khatun, utensils and books;
On May 13, 1956, all these collections of relics were moved to the new mausoleum.
A portrait of the Khan was placed at the center of the main hall and three Chomchog Ordon were set up in the rear hall and the relic boxes of the Khan and Bortegeljin Khatun, Khulan Khatun and Gorveljin-goo Khatun were placed in the bigger ordon in the middle. Khavutu Khasar and Bokh Belgudei were presented offerings in the west and east side Chomchog Ordon respectively. Toloi and his Khatun Eshi were presented offerings in a Chomchog in the east wing hall and the Khara Sulde, Alag Sulde and other relics such as saddles, reins, bows, quivers, swords and horn were placed in the west wing hall. The Shara Khasag were placed outside the rear hall.
In 1955, the Chinese government arbitrarily changed the Khan's Grand Dailga's day from the Chagaan Surugin Dailga to the summer's Nuur-in Dailga and prohibited the Mongols to attend all other monthly and seasonal Dailga at the new mausoleum. Thus, the Chinese government, in the course of building the new mausoleum, not only turned the mausoleum into just a kind of museum which serves for the interests of the Chinese and turned the Khan's offering ceremony into a entertainment fair to prevent the Mongols from developing a strong ethnic feeling around the Khan through the ceremony , but in the meanwhile, they arbitrarily changed and therefore seriously violated the traditional belief and customs of the Mongols:
--- From the very beginning, the Khan's relic box and other relics had been only kept in felt tents (such as the Eight White Ordon) according to the Mongol custom and should never place under any structures made of other than felt. But the new mausoleum was built with bricks, stones and cement.
---From the very beginning time, the Shitugen of the Khan and others had been worshipped and presented offerings separately according to their own schedules, and should only gather once a year during the grand dailga. But the Chinese government put them together forcibly and treats them as usual antiques instead of the sacred Shitugens of the Mongols. Also the Chinese government stopped all other Shitugen's offering ceremonies except the Khan's Dailga.
---The Mongols believe the Sulde was descended from the above heaven and should always be worshipped in an open place without any shelter or obstacles between the Sulde and the heaven. But the Chinese government again arbitrarily removed the Sulde into the new mausoleum. Placing the Shitugens into a structure other than felt or placing a shelter over the Sulde are serious taboos for the Mongols and they believe that would bring them great misfortune.
What's more, in Sept. of the 1966, a bunch of Chinese red guards broke into the mausoleum and forced the Darkhad out of the Mausoleum and started to destroy the valueless treasures of the Mongols. In the following years of Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), all the relics kept in the mausoleum, along with the Khan's relic box, were destroyed or robbed (except 3 saddles were able to hide by a Mongol herdsman ) and the mausoleum itself also became a salt storage.
During that period, tens of thousands of Mongols were accused of being members of a " counter-revolutionary" organization--- the Inner Mongolian People's Party and about 10% of the Mongol population of Inner Mongolia was wiped out. That period have become the "darkest time" of the Mongols ever since the Mongol nation was proclaimed by the Khan in 1206. The miserable fate of the Eight White Ordon exactly reflects the tragedy of the Mongols under the Chinese rule.
Since 1979, the mausoleum has been repaired and the Darkhad have returned to the mausoleum and rebuilt those relics destroyed during the Cultural Revolution according to their memory, also some photograph and records. What you'll see in the mausoleum are those imitations.
A few words on the expedition campaign to find the Khan's burial place
It was His own will and also was the custom of the Mongols that any signs should not be left behind upon his death so that he could enjoy the everlasting peace after His turbulent life or even can be born again after 800 years, according to the 771 years old (by 1998) folk story among the Mongols. It has been the Mongols' custom that nobody is supposed to be touch their own ancestors bones or even others; It could be a serious crime under the Khan's "Yikh Jasag" (Grand Law).
Whoever by whatever reason to find the burial place of the Khan is outrageous and out-minded, by the tradition of the Mongol, by the moral standard of the Mongols and by the common sense of the Mongols. As the founder of the Mongol Nation, he was not only the Khan of the Mongols, but has been the father of the Mongols, as George Washington is the father of the Americans.
Do the Mongols have become so stupid that they are so eager to dig out, take a look and display to others their father's bone, or do the Mongols have become so poor that they have to sell out their father's bone, or even do the Mongols have become so insensitive that they don't care about what others are doing to their father's bone?
What is more ridiculous, under the 70 years of Communist rule, the Khan had been deliberately depicted as a feudal warlord and barbaric bloodsucker by the communist government and its "big brother", but nobody never tried to find out where the man is resting; Democracy and freedom finally have reached the steppes known to the world mostly by their famous conquerors, and the Khan was re-recognized by His sons to be their father. However, at the same time, democracy and freedom without compatible law and order have given the chance to some people of some nation who had been long waiting to dig out our ancestors bones by the name of archeology or whatever other reasons.
They may have tried to convince the newborn democratic government that finding out the Khan burial place is just as simple as discovering another set of dinosaur bones from the Gobi, by pure scientific reason and for pure scientific purpose, I think. But the Khan, as I mentioned many times, he is not like one of the many emperors of other countries, such as China, that their tombs can be broken into and their bones can be displayed to tourists for profit by their sober-minded descendants' cool judgment and moral standard. As the founder of our nation and father of all the Mongols, the matter of finding the Khan's burial place is a matter of the people of Mongolia instead of just being a matter of government's decision by the meaning of the word " democracy" and also a matter of the over 700 million strong Mongols on this planet by the meaning of the word " the Mongols" and " Mongolia".
His last will was to be laying with peace forever under the "Everlasting Blue Heaven", so let the Khan be resting in peace and let the Khan keep blessing the blue Mongols.
Altan Ordon nai Dailaga
All of the first, needless to say, most of the credit should go to Mr. Sain-Jirgal and Mr. Sharaldai. Please allow me to pay my respect to their enormous effort and great courage to preserve and save the cultural heritage of the Mongols under the unfavorable circumstance they are facing.
A Modern Mongolian-English Dictionary
by Gombojav Hangin with John R. Krueger and Paul D Buell, William V. Rozycki, Robert G. Service
Indiana University Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies 1986 ( Cyrillic)
Dec 24, 1997, New York