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