Mongolia has nominated its traditional practices of the worshipping of sacred sites for inscription in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place in Jeju, South Korea in December.
In ancient times, people used to mark certain sites in order to notify travelers and hunters that the place is fruitful or avoidable. It is believed that the marks turned into sacred stone heap known as Ovoo. Initially, the marks were left in the form of trees with indicative signs, small holes on the ground and assembled tree branches and stones. It is understood that the indicative signs became alphabet and the assembled branches and stones turned into Ovoos.
During tribal times, Ovoos were used to draw boundaries between territories of different tribes. Later, Ovoos became associated with shamanistic rituals as shamans built them on sacred sites where they can establish a connection with nature deities. The worship ceremonies are performed to invoke assistance from the deities. Mongolians have maintained and cherished the traditional practices of worshipping of sacred sites until today.