Mongolia

Mongolia Monday- Mongol Postage Stamps, Part 1: Clothes And Culture

A week or so ago, I was poking around the listings on EBay that come up when you search “Mongolia” and ended up browsing through the postage stamps. Mongolia is one of those countries that, in the past, released an endless supply of stamps aimed at collectors. It brought in some income to the government during the socialist era and when times were very hard back in the early to mid-1990s during the transition to democracy.

Along with the obligatory Princess Diana commemoratives, it turns out that there is a wealth of stamps with imagery from Mongolia’s history and culture. Some of the stamps showing traditional clothing are so detailed that they to all intents and purposes qualify as primary reference material.

I had purchased some stamps on previous trips just because I liked the images and they are a well-known souvenir choice. I had also been a stamp collector many years ago as a kid. I don’t know that I would take up actual collecting again, but if I did, I would specialize in the historical and cultural subjects, along with animals (no surprise there, I imagine).

This week I’ll share the costume, history and ger-themed stamps I have. Next week will be Mongol warriors and the third part will be some with plants and animals.

Comments, information from my Mongol friends and fellow Mongolphiles welcome, as always.

Traditional dress; the top middle is what a married Kalkh Mongol woman wore

Historical/legendary images, I believe

This set appears to be gers (which is simply Mongolian for "home") through Mongol history; ending with one that combines the old and proven with the new and modern; love the aruul drying on the roof

The Khan's ger on the move, literally a "mobile" home

Traditional life in a ger; lightweight metal stoves instead of the open brazier and people tend to wear modern clothes (but not always), but otherwise this is what they are like to this day. Notice the kids on the left playing anklebone games; the floor coverings are sheep's wool felt embroidered with handspun camel wool thread in an traditional design

8 replies »

  1. I made a stop at the post office for stamps while in UB – I had to have the guard dogs as well as wild animals. Once some of my other team mates saw them there was a general rush to the PO I suspect most of them will end up in my book works.

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  2. What a great idea, Susan, to collect stamps while abroad.

    I am looking forward to my adventures this year. Already thought of using stamps to help the designs.

    This small collection of Mongol stamps are super. Lots of detail in a small area.

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  3. Kendi çapında amatör bir flatelistim. Eski Moğolistan pullarına merak sarmıştım. Ancak 2000 yılından sonra hiç pul alamadım. Bana yardımcı olursanız çok sevinirim.
    Muammer Ateş
    mates1958@hotmail.com

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  4. Dear Susan
    Thanks for sharing your artworks. I thought you may like to know that after spending the year 2000 doing fieldwork in Mongolia, my doctoral thesis concerned the cultural politics underpinning varying aspects/issues of symbolism in Mongolian stamps issued between 1924 and 1992 (with some reference to those later). It’s title: Stamping Identity: Dialogic, Symbolism and the Other in Mongolian Philately”.
    Cheers, Dr Anja Reid

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  5. My warmest greetings Ms Susan. Thanks for the first account on Mongolia. I learned a little information on histoty and culture. Especially on gers (home) of the people and of Khan;s. I believe this is now the equivalent to the present van on wheels. I appreciate your web on philately. Thanks and Godbless!……..Ricardo C. Guarde, Pilpinosas Subd., San Vicente, Panabo City 8501, Davao del Norte, Philippines……..

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  6. I’m a Mongolian living in Utah. Few years back, my mom brought these stamps from Mongolia with her and gave them to me. I just found them and can’t find out if they are real, fake or worth anything at all. I have been online for hours looking them up but can’t find anything. Would you know what I could do to find out?

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  7. There are usually a lot Mongolian postage stamps for sale on eBay. I’ve bought some there myself. You could search “Mongolia postage stamps” or even just “Mongolia” and see what is there. She probably bought them at the Post Office in Ulaanbaatar. Hope this helps.

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