Collection of the National Museum of Mongolia: The Morin Khuur of S.TuvdenArt & Culture
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. In our series of highlight artifacts being kept at the National Museum of Mongolia, we are presenting the morin khuur (horsehead fiddle) of S.Tuvden. The morin khuur, Mongolian traditional musical instrument was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.
The museum keeps several morin khuurs that tell about the history of traditional musical instrument. One of them is this particular morin khuur that was used by the famous musician S.Tuvden, who was greatly involved in enlightening the public through the melodies of his instrument in the 20s and 30s alongside other famous musicians such as U.Luvsan, D.Tudev, and B.Altangerel. As a representative of the Mongolian music scene in the 20th century, he also had many students including G.Jamiyan who also later became well-known for his great musical skills.
Made with traditional craftsmanship methods, the instrument has a body made of hide, with bone ornaments in its neck and head. It is 110 cm in height, and 27 cm in width. The instrument was made by a craftsman named Tsamiin (Tsambiin) Gombo. The museum purchased the artifact from an Ulaanbaatar city citizen in 1971.
The modern morin khuur craftsmanship - the idea to make the instrument’s body with wood instead of hide is said to be initiated by Soviet violin maker Denis Yarovoi in the late 60s.