G.Khongoroo: Sarig tekh can be played only with folk songs and poems of praise

2020-01-28 14:59:44

Khongoroo Geleg is one of the heritage bearers that have been giving an intangible cultural heritage a new life and sharing the wonders of Ikel Khuur, a Mongolian musical instrument similar to Morin Khuur (horse head fiddle). The way she plays the little-known Mongolian traditional game called Sarig Tekh or mountain Goat in harmony with the instrument’s unique melody is fascinating. Sarig Tekh is played by one person making a wooden mountain goat ‘dance’ rhythmically to the music played by Ikel Khuur on a special board. MONTSAME talked with G.Khongoroo about the origin and special features of the not well known intangible cultural heritage.

The 69-year-old intangible cultural heritage bearer of Khovd aimag, senior artist G.Khongoroo successfully represented Khovd aimag at the Asian Championship of Folklore - Asia Folk 2019 held last June. 

G.Khongoroo Intangible cultural heritage bearer from Khovd aimag

“Sarig Tekh originated in Altai soum of Khovd aimag. It is said that the soum’s native Ya.Dorj created the game by carving wood and played it with Ikel Khuur. The popularity of the game has diminished for years and then, in 1960, my mother N.Bondoo inherited the art of playing the game with Ikel Khuur. Seeing Ikel khuur performances from young age, I enthusiastically learned to play the instrument at the age of 13. Now, I intend to bring back the heritage and pass it down to our younger generation,”

“The game enables people to be connected with the mountain goat from their homes and represents and passes the Mongolian tradition of loving and respecting animals.”

It was my pleasure to promote the rare intangible cultural heritage at the Asian Championship of Folklore and receive the best performance award in playing Sarig Tekh with Ikel Khuur.

She pointed out that the Sarig Tekh does not move an inch with wrong choice of tune and tempo, saying “It is not that easy to make it dance”

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