Silver article of Noyon Sevrei design

Art & Culture
2020-12-30 16:34:11

Umnugobi /MONTSAME/ The silver article of Noyon Sevrei design - a brand product of Umnugobi aimag - is kept at the aimag’s museum.


Compared to other silver bowls, the thick silver article of a high silver content is made in a traditional way and can be used for a long time. The bowl has almost no embossed patterns and its bottom is made from silver of high purity and decorated with lotus patterns and a thick silver insert. Large size bowls contain 32-35 liang (1 liang = 37.3 grams) of silver, medium size bowls 17-20 liang, and small size bowls 8-10 liang. The authentic handmade silver bowls are not only of high silver content and durable, but also are valued as unique works of art. 


Avirmed Gun khoshuu (administrative division) of Sain Noyon Khan aimag, later renamed Yost Beis khoshuu, covering a vast gobi area stretching 450 kilometers in length and up to 300 kilometers in width from the west end of Altan Mountain, Tost Range, to the south of Arts Gurvan Bogd Range at the end of Altai Range and the west of the present-day capital of Umnugobi aimag around Gurvansaikhan Mountain was home to many artisans and smiths and the people of the land possessed a lot of silver articles and traditionally decorated their horses rather than themselves.


There were many silversmiths among the dwellers of the foothills of Noyon Bogd and Khatan Sevrei mountains in the khoshuu. Local legend has it that smith Sharav who lived around the beginning of 19th century made a dombo (traditional teapot) set with gems that makes sounds as if it was saying “stop, stop, stop” when tipped for a mean lord. It is also said that another smith named Nyam made a lock that ‘asks’ “who are you?!” when someone tries to remove it through the ger jamb.      


Four sons and one daughter of a household from the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century were all artisans. The daughter Yanjin was adept at sewing, and the eldest brother Gendensamba Dolgor, second eldest brother Tseepil Dolgor, third brother Honored Cultural Figure of Mongolia, People’s Painter, State Prize laureate Manibadar Dolgor, and his younger brother Yondon Dolgor were renowned artisans and silversmiths. They portrayed deities and made religious items, saddles, bridles, and bowls. Also, there were many smiths among their close relatives including skillful Mandir, Dulamjav, smith Tuvden from southeastern gobi of Noyon soum, smith Luuzan Dolgor, smith Sanj, smith Yondon from Sevrei soum, Danzan Myadag, brothers Puntsagjaa Dagdan and Bazar Dagdan. These smiths who mainly made silver articles worked with seamstresses to make bovine leather items, saddlecloth, saddlebag, traditional boots, and sets of accessories. 


There is a need to continue the inheritance of this combined craft as a cultural heritage. Native of Sevrei soum, State Smith of Mongolia Sugir Sonomsharav was a true inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage - the technique of making articles of Noyon Sevrei design. S.Sugir was a professional smith skilled in steel carving and his younger brothers Tsooj and Erdenee, and apprentices Gankhuyag, Otgonchuluun, and Tumennast are among the skilled smiths of Sevrei soum.    


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