Text for Genghis Khan Exhibit volunteers – Ger (home)

                                  Text for Genghis Khan Exhibit volunteers – Ger (home) 
                                                at Discovery Place Charlotte NC

Nomadic families live in felt covered tents called “Gers” in Mongolian – Ger means house/home in the Mongolian Language – Russian speaking people call them “Yurts”. The traditional Ger on display is filled with antique objects of traditional Mongolian Nomadic Herders. For many centuries before Genghis Khan and up until now many Mongolians live as Nomads. Mongolian Nomads relocate at minimum three to four times a year with the seasons to find good grazing areas as well as water for their livestock. They still travel by horse and camel although now in modern times they use trucks as well. One third of all Mongolians still live as Nomads. Mongolia is the last horse based culture in the world. It only takes a few hours to assemble a Ger from its component parts by the Nomadic family. The weather in Mongolia is very dry, hot in summer and blistering cold in the winter. Additional layers of felt are added to insulate the Ger in temperatures that can dip below - 50 and sometimes with wind chill reaching below – 100 with strong winds from the north and west. Wood when it is available, dried animal dung when it is not is used to fuel the stove in the middle of the Ger. The traditional robes worn by Mongolians are called Dels, winter Dels are made and lined with wool for warmth against the harsh conditions – silk sashes in various colors serve as belts. In other times of the year with moderate temperatures Dels are made from patterned silk of different colors. Traditional Mongolian boots have an upturned toe so as to not disturb the land as you pass through. Traditional head gear for men and women are embroidered rounded silk hats - the men’s will have an upright spire in the center of the top. Gers always face south in the Mongolian tradition, opposite the fierce winds. The door to the Ger is the only entrance and exit – it will have a colorful paint scheme. Traditionally when guest are expected the husband will sit on the north side of the Ger opposite the door, the wife will be on the right side tending the cooking and guest will sit on the left side of the Ger. For Mongolians of the Buddhist faith there will be a shrine on the North side of the Ger opposite the door. There will be paintings called Tankas, depicting Buddhist deities. Mongolian Buddhism like Tibetan Buddhism has many Gods and fables and respects the Dalai Lama as Buddha’s holy representative. Mongolian Nomads are very welcoming. Mongolia is the least populated country in all of the world with only 3 million people in a country half the size of the Continental United States. Conditions are very harsh. Nomads welcome visitors understanding that the food and shelter they offer can be life-saving. Visitors are always offered snuff from a man’s fancy curved snuff bottle. Visitors are traditionally served sweet camel’s milk tea, dried cheese and in celebration, fermented mare’s milk, a strong alcoholic drink called Airag. Nomads churn milk to make butter. They also make their own goat, sheep and yak cheese as well as yogurt from goat’s milk. Mutton is the staple of their diet. On the open steppe they will gut the sheep, skin it – heat stones then put the diced meat along with available vegetables and water back into the skin with the heated stones – sew it up and let it cook like a pressure cooker until the meal is ready – no pot needed. While nomads still live with equipment such as you see here, those who can afford it may have portable solar panels that power electric lights and even satellite TV. Mongolian children are also avid readers going through many books. Thanks to many regional schools, Mongolia has a higher literacy rate than the United States. A favorite game of Nomadic Mongolian children is a form of dice played with sheep ankle knuckle bones, depending on which side of the knuckle lands upward, a player may win or lose. Music is a big part of Mongolian life – Men may master throat singing, a strange sounding combination of two or more harmonies produced at the same time, one of them a low growl and the other a high whistling sound. Women sing the ‘long songs’ which have been passed down for centuries without ever have been written down. They may be the oldest continuously sung melodies in the world. Some Nomads learn to play the Morin Khuur - a horse hair fiddle. Genghis Khans army brought the playing of instruments with a bow to Europe. Before then Europeans only plucked the strings of their instruments. Mongolian men carry daggers in their silk belt along with leather containers for dry tinder and a stone to strike on rocks to start a fire. In the past nomads carried swords, now many have guns and rifles. Wolves are still a threat to their flocks. Traditionally some Nomads captured baby Golden Eagles and trained them to hunt. Mongolian traditional dances and dress costumes are elaborate. Some young girls also train in the traditional art of contortionism. Instead of horses some Nomads ride motorcycles; still nomads learn to ride expertly by the age of five. Mongolian nomads may have many children. Mongolia has the youngest population in the world with half of its population under the age of 25. Many young nomads abandon the traditional way of life and move to the city, Ulaanbaatar, where more than half of all Mongolians now live. The traditional ways of the Mongolian nomad will soon disappear. Contents of a Ger 19th century Ger and content; Collection of Gankhuyag Natsag. Arag – wooden basket Savar – wooden shovel fork Chodor – horse hobble Bubil khos – horse halter Kholiin avdar – chest Khotnii buu – pistol in wooden box Buu – Rifle Emeel – saddle Khazaar – bridle Shagay khoo khuyag – ankle bone dice game Bogts – saddle bag Bogtsos tobloom – shank bone games Tanka painting – Yamataka Tanka painting – Tavan Khan Tanka painting – Dalkha Tanka painting – Goviin Lkha Baldn Lkhama with two helpers – bronze statue White Tara – wood framed Sakhli Khiimori – wood block print Takhil shilen – two offering cups Small silver pray candle holder Gaval Damara – Buddhist music instrument Takhliin jijig shiree- small offering table Tsan/gants – Buddhist cymbals Avdar – two chests Unjilaga – cord or curtains Tulga – fire pit Togoo – caldron Galiin khaich – fireplace tongs Or – bed Zeeriin arisan devsreg – Antelope skin rug Khivis – carpet Khos ertnii gutal – antique boots Uur – mortar tea and herb grinder Nuduur – pestle mixer Gal togoonii iregneg – kitchen cabinet Khalbaga shanaga – ladle and dipper Guulin tom dombo – copper tea pitcher Esgii bogts – two felt bags Tsar – two trays Jijig modon tsagsh – small wooden bowl Chuluun guriliin teerem – mill stone. 

By. S.Uzmee


Come to me

Come to me

I will be with you always
I will be your love only
I am here with you
I will always be with you

Oh, my love came to me
Oh, I fell for you
You touched my heart with your kindness
You fill up my heart like a galaxy full of stars

Happy father’s day
Amazing husband, wonder of the world

Uzmee S. Pigg 6.18.2017


Mongolian Jack Weatherford

Mongolian Jack Weatherford

Born and grew up in America
Educated and successful
Following his dreams and interest
Across the globe to Mongolia

Great Genghis Khan’s history
In his youth read and studied
Deepest recesses of his mind wondered
Secrets to be found
Pilgrimage to Mongolia

Living in a Mongolian Ger
On the dried dung fired stove 
Mongolian ladies boiling milk tea
Hot drink on a freezing cold day

Listening to the herders child
Singing songs and humming
Looking down the valley camels grazing
Enjoying the steppe land view
Sitting and writing in his journal

Snacking on curds and cheese
Sipping on airag and relaxing
Dry hot day building thirst
Drinking lovely cold spring water

Spring time on the Orhon River
Enjoying the view of dancing Egrets
Observing a howling gray wolf in the forest
Night sky full of sparkling stars
Holding hands with his wife on the steppes

Late winter early spring blooming
Searching for Scilla flowers
Listening to “Ohgii” lake’s cracking noise
Enjoying with his lovely wife   
Through the Golden Gobi’s Saxaul trees 
By the frozen rivers blue light
Deep under the frozen surface waters gurgling
Listening with his wife, feeling wonderful

Jack’s heart fitting Mongol
Jack’s mind floating in Mongol history
Jack’s breathing the Mongolian life style   
Mongolian people appreciate and are very proud of Jack Weatherford.
We love you Jack Weatherford.

S. Uzmee 2.15.2017


Amorous Perfume - Scent

Amorous Perfume - Scent

Heavy aroma wafting up
Lovers gift to their mate
Scent immortalized in their love
Monument to their union
Perfect gift for all
Heavy aroma pulling couples together

Under spoken elegant perfume
Waiting gently as you pass
Make hearts beat faster
Blindly I turn and follow
Dreamy date come to life
Stylish youths one of jewel
You smell a rich aroma
Partners courting, gift elite
Lover’s luxurious date
A romantic moment in a scent
Perfect item
Couples pose on a happy day

By :S. Uzmee 2.11.2017


On January 27th, 30th Anniversary of US-Mongolia Diplomatic Relations

On January 27th, 30th Anniversary of US-Mongolia Diplomatic Relations
My Journey To Mongolia (about Mongol- Amicale)
By James S. Pigg
The first I heard of Mongolia was during world history in grade school, it was the land of barbarians and the bloodthirsty Genghis Khan. Little did I know then how much influence this far away land would have on my life.
I began my work career with Woonsocket Spinning Company in Charlotte, North Carolina – it was a subsidiary of Amicale Industries headquartered in New York City.
We specialized in Cashmere, Camel and Yak Hair. We de-haired it (removed the coarse guard hair –Kemp) leaving only the fine fleece – after this we further processed it. Dying, carding, spinning and winding it into yarn for weaving or knitting into sweaters, sport coats and other high end clothing goods.
We also had factories in Pennsylvania to further process cloth from weaving and finishing as well as one in Bradford, England to help with the European market.
We imported all of our raw materials from faraway places like Iraq, Afghanistan, China and Mongolia.
With the breakup of the former Soviet Union and the formation of Democracy in Mongolia, some rules about exporting raw Cashmere, Camel and Yak Hair were changing – to insure a continued supply of raw material, Amicale in conjunction with the new Mongolian Government set up a Joint Venture Mongol – Amicale using Foreign Aid Funds to help pay for the venture.
The first phase was started in the early 90’s setting up regional warehouses to purchase Cashmere, Camel and Yak Hair directly from the herders – as well as setting up the first production phase by installing Sorting, Opening, Scouring and Baling machinery.
By early 1994 we were gearing up our machine building operations in Charlotte to export to Mongolia. We built all of our De-hairing Equipment ourselves, I had redesigned the machinery over the years to increase throughput, reduce downtime and increase the length of fiber produced.
We brought three Mongolian Engineers, Byambadorj, Sambuunyam and Otgonbayar over to train as we built the machinery in our existing plant here to get them up to speed before the installation of the equipment there.
At that time shipping companies did not have terminals in Mongolia, so all of our goods had to be shipped in containers that were purchased and would stay in Mongolia. We purchased and shipped a large amount of containers with equipment and supplies. After the containers were empty we sold them to individuals and companies in Mongolia for use as garages or storage buildings.
When I first went to Mongolia I did not know quite what to expect. I soon came to realize that the people were very open, hospitable and kind. The country was going through a transformation that had created economic hardships for the majority of their citizens, yet they were very upbeat and optimistic about their future.
One of the things that surprised me in Mongolia was the high level of education that the people we hired for manufacturing positions had achieved, almost all had Bachelor Degrees and some had their Masters. In the States at that time most of manufacturing positions were filled by people with only a High School education or less, this was a reflection of the economic conditions of Mongolia.
(During my time in Mongolia I met my future wife who worked with Mongol Amicale as well, Uzmee - we have two beautiful daughters, Tergel and Catherine; we also have a beautiful granddaughter Kari.)
We had our official Grand Opening in April of 1995 with President Ochirbat and many Mongolian dignitaries as well as Donald Johnson, the American Ambassador, and representatives from the State Department and World Bank in attendance.
Once up and running several issues came up influencing our ability to run 24 hours a day with three shifts – a lot of our people lived in the outlying Ger Districts and experienced issues getting to work – we had several Korean Micro buses put in service to pick them up and drop them off when their shift finished. We also installed a cafeteria to insure they would have warm nutritious food to eat. We set up a clinic in our plant stocked with medicines and staffed by a doctor to make sure they would have access to speedy medical care.
One of our Rep Office Administrators, Minjuur was a great help finding good people for our company, he was well known and respected throughout the country. I considered him a personal friend. He gave us a lot of good advice and help dealing with the red tape that you have to contend with dealing with the government.
We were involved with our community in Mongolia, sponsoring Wrestling Competitions as well as some of the wrestlers, Osohbayar was sponsored by us and went on to become champion. My wife and I were invited to his wedding in the Big Ger Hall and had the opportunity to meet his family and friends.
We also sponsored studies to improve the Cashmere breeds and worked with the Universities and government entities to help the herders maintain their animals.
I had the opportunity to go wolf hunting in Choi Balsan with Donald Johnson the American Ambassador, as well as the Ambassador from Korea and the French Diplomatic envoys as well as a group of Ex Pats and some of the local Soum people – I managed to get two wolves over three days. It was an interesting trip – we flew by helicopter from UB to there and traveled by Jaran-es to hunt the wolves, as well as getting some from the Helicopter itself.
Several years after that I had the opportunity to return to Choi Balsan to look at some equipment at a closed carpet factory to see if we could re-purpose some of it. This time three engineers and myself drove there and back. On our return trip we left late in the evening planning on driving through the night – our navigator had a little too much vodka and went to sleep. I noticed that the constellations were on the opposite side of where they should be based on our trip in – had the driver to stop at a Ger and ask directions to make sure – we were heading in the opposite direction of where we should be – toward the Russian border – we turned around and got back on the right course.
I was always impressed by the Mongolian people especially in the country side – they would always offer you the hospitality of their Ger, give you milk tea and food as well as offer you a place to sleep.
While we were living in Mongolia, a celebration was held for the memory of my wife’s father and his work – his name was Baldan Sodnom – a Professor, Author and Academician – it was on the 90th anniversary of his birth.
Alphonse F. LaPorta, the American Ambassador at that time was in Attendance as well as other Mongolian dignitaries.
We left Mongolia in early 1999 with our two young daughters and came back to Charlotte to live. The company I helped build in Mongolia is still there – it changed ownership and was renamed around 2003 to Goyo Cashmere Company.
While my wife and daughters have had the opportunity to return and visit Mongolia I have yet to return, in a few years when I retire I would like to live in Mongolia again – I have a lot of respect and feelings for the people of Mongolia.
James S. Pigg
Mongol-Amicale Grand Opening 1995 with Ambassador Donald Johnson.
Dornod aimag Herlen Bars 1996



by O Dashbalbar

Love one another, my people, while you are alive.
Don’t keep from others whatever you find beautiful.
Don’t wound my heart with heedless barbs, and
Don’t push anyone into a dark hole.

Don’t mock someone who’s gotten drunk,
Think how it could even be your father.
And, if you manage to become famous,
Open the door of happiness to others!
They should also not forget your kindness.
To someone who is lacking a single word of kindness,
You should search for it and speak it out.
Whether outside in the sun or at home when it’s cold,
Don’t spend one moment at rest.

Don’t use harsh words to complain, you women,
About the kind young man you remember.
Speak lovingly to those who loved you!
Let them remember you as a good lover.

Our lives are really similar,
Our words constrict our throats the same way,
Our tears drop onto our cheeks the same way –
Things are much the same as we go along the road.
Wipe away a halt woman’s tears without a word,
Talk your lover up when she’s tripped and fallen!

Today you’re smiling, tomorrow you’ll be crying.
Another day you’re sad, and the next you’ll be singing.
We all pass from the cradle to the grave -
If for no other reason, love one another!
People must not lack love on this wide earth!
I grasp happiness with the fire of my human mind,
The golden shines lovingly upon us all the same, and
So I think that loving others is the path of life,
I understand that to be loved by others is great joy.

Translated by Simon Wickham-Smith