Sunday, August 23, 2009

13th Century Park - Conclusion

The actual count of camps in this area is said to have been twelve. Only 7 have been restored. The last three of the seven camps we visited were arguably the most interesting – the Shaman (or religious)
Camp, the Winter Camp and the King’s Palace. We’ll continue our recount of our visit to these camps, in the order in which they occurred.


Camp number 6: The Shaman Camp.

Though not overly religious himself (being, none-the-less, a self proclaimed Shaman), Changgis Khan did insist on religious tolerance. The territories he conquered were allowed to worship in any way they preferred, without hindrance. Religious worship was also a significant part of the activities found in his encampment.

In this headquarters grouping of camps at 13th Century, the Shaman Camp was the center of religious activity and practice. The circular area seen in the second photo is where rites and ceremonies took place for the camp. The sharply pointed horizontal poles banding the boundary of the circle, were thought to keep out bad spirits.

Several styles of gers were provided here, each serving a unique and specific purpose. From among those pictured (and a couple not seen in the picture), we’ll briefly describe a couple which we found most poignant and interesting. In fact, we found some things we thought were down right surprising! The pictures will likely speak much for themselves.

It is likely that you will be as fascinated by what you see here, as we were when we saw it. No, these are not pictures which we brought with us of native American artifacts . The first is actually a historical Mongolian robe, used in religious ceremonies, as are the drum and the headdress in the following picture. Just the same, we have seen nearly exact duplicates of these articles among our some of own Navajo tribes in the States, as no doubt have many of you.



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Now note the ancient ‘Mongolian ger' in picture 5. Look familiar to anyone?


All of this, we are certain, is only coincidence. Or not.

There’s more.

The last ger we visited in this camp, was for males only. And as our guide was a dedicated Shaman, our female visitors were not allowed inside. When the men entered, we found a fairly simple area for praying and religious rites. I called it, the Priesthood Ger!

One of our good Mongolian friends has told us that there are a small handful of Mongolian words which just happen to be exactly the same as found in the Navajo language. We mentioned in a previous post that we had seen a Mongolian musical number performed at a local theater in which the participants were dressed in those same Navajo looking robes and the dance looked and sounded as though it had been taken directly from a Navajo song book! More coincidence.

There are those native Mongolians who are convinced that there is a direct connection between themselves and the Lamanites found in the Americas. Who are we to argue!

Camp number 6 was the Winter Camp or Winter Palace. This one was not open on the day we visited. But these structures can be found all over Mongolia. It is a place for them to bring their livestock during the winter for protection and control.

We have no idea why they are referred to as a Winter “Palace”.

Camp 7 was the final camp and was the one Chenggis ruled from. This was really impressive simply because of it’s size and grandeur.

The large ger in the middle is, of course, the King Ger. The largest of any ger we have seen and certainly the largest at this camp, it was indeed amazing. Note the double doors as one enters the ger.

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It was late in the afternoon by the time we arrived here and food was very much on our mind. So they sat us down (all the way down, you will note!) to a mostly traditional Mongolian meal. At first, I thought there wasn’t nearly enough food for our group. But not to worry! After about the fourth course, we were pretty stuffed!

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After lunch, we couldn’t resist a little ‘make believe.’ What do you think? Elder Caldwell as Chenggis Khan and Sister Caldwell as the misses! Ok, so we make better missionaries – we hope!

You can get a better idea of the scope of this thing from the panorama shot. Makes one think that one might actually be able to live in a ger, after all! Bish (not)! Still no indoor plumbing! But it is amazing that this huge ger still breaks down into component parts and was transported whenever they felt a need!

And remember, you can click on the photos to see an enlargement.

Someday we’ll know about the connection between Mongolian and ancient America. We’re betting it will be fascinating!
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4 comments:

The Cowley Clan said...

This history stuff is really cool. Thanks for sharing it with us.

meglex said...

I am glad that we get to learn so much through you. It is all so neat! And I LOVE the pic of both of you dressed up!(So do the girls!)

Lindsie, DJ and Jarod said...

That ger is huge. I thought they were all pretty small structures. I guess the king would have to have something pretty big.

Cindy said...

All you guys do is have fun. Don't you ever work?

Aren't you glad I told you about the blog. You can have a book made out of your blog. I'm not sure how, but I bet you can figure it out.