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Costumes

The dress of Mongolian people displays national peculiarities being very much suited to the cattle-breeders' nomadic way of life, economic features and the country's natural climatic conditions.
Historical sources give evidence of many kinds of dress that Mongolians used to wear. For example, during the Mongolian empire period, married women wore original hats called "Bogtoga", which were very tall and slender, and made out of wood-bark. They were covered with silk, which was decorated with valuable pearls, precious stones and feathers on top. Archaeological findings revealed many kinds of hats like these.
The Mongolian del or robe was quite different from those of today. Del is a general term for traditional Mongolian coats, which resemble the Japanese kimono. According to scholars, the del almost reached the ankles and had no collar, simply wrapping across sideways. This ancient form of collar still persists among lamas' costumes and some winter de/ made of wool and fur. The de/ was fastened together by a leather belt decorated with various kinds of metals. sometimes pure gold, as proved by archaeological evidence . The forms of belts, hats and other clothing of that period can be observed more clearly from the statues of the time.
Although some details changed throughout history, the national costume retained its original style until the beginning of the 20th century.

Mongolian costumes differ in shape and purpose. There were everyday costumes for men and women, for summer and winter, as well as special clothes for holidays and ceremonies. In olden times the Mongols had a great variety of street-clothes, head -gear. and ornaments. The way a person was dressed showed to what ethnic or social group he belonged. The rules for wearing each style of dress were dictated by ancient traditions and customs.
The details of the married woman's costume are interesting and significant. Costumes and ornaments of married women in the western, central, and eastern parts of the country differed from each other. The wives wore an "uuji" (something like a long waistcoat without sleeves) over the traditional del. Women from western Mongolia had the privilege of having a large white collar on the de/ and their costumes were very free and loose. But the women of central and eastern Mongolia wore a del with high shoulders and the collar, hem and sleeves were decorated with intricate designs. Great attention was paid to the ornamentation of the head-dress. In the older days it was believed that the hairstyle should resemble the wings of an eagle. Women wore their hair smoothly combed back. and an artificial string was glued to the front of the taruur, on both sides of which hung pendants made of strings or pearls. They pinned their hair with silver hair grips and slides. In winter. Mongolian men usually wore del made out of sheep or lamb's skins, as well as lynx, sable and fox pelts. In summer, men preferred del of different colored cotton fabrics.

The Mongolians wore many kinds of hats in all seasons of the year. Both men and women wore hats decorated with fur : sable, silver fox, red fox and others.
In summer the Mongols wore both malgai hat (made of plush with a velvet upturned brim and pointed crown) and top hat (tortsog) consisting of six gores. Mongolian boots are the same for men and women but they vary from one ethnic group to another. There are many kinds of boots, called mongol, tookuu, kanchin, buriat etc. and some of them are worn even today.
Today, especially in the city, Mongols prefer to wear European dress. The national costumes of the small ethnic groups of the past are almost forgotten now, and the clothes of Central Mongolia are most popular.

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