The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-One — Erdenet, Mongolia by Gina Sterk
A few weekends ago I took a trip to Erdenet, Mongolia’s second-largest city. While there, we did some hiking around and came across a number of ovoos, which is what you see pictured below. While I don’t know a lot about ovoos, I do know that they are a part of shamanism, the belief system that has traditionally been most prevalent in Mongolia.
An ovoo is a pile of rocks, or cairn, which marks a religious site. In Mongolia, you often come across them at high places, like mountaintops. When you come across an ovoo, it is customary to circle it clockwise three times, then pick up a rock and add it to the pile, so the ovoos are continually growing. Ovoos are also often drapped with hadag – blue, silk scarves used for ceremonial greetings…
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