Tsagaan Sar (White Moon) Mountain Festival in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photo by Karl Schuler.
Since the Tibetan Diaspora, the National Library of Mongolia is believed to house the largest remaining collection of ancient Buddhist texts. The sheer size of the collection and difficulty getting funding have prevented even counting and cataloging what is present so far. Many of the texts were hidden in caves during the Communist repression of buddhism in Mongolia and are badly damaged; others are charred from monastery burnings. Faulty wiring caused a small fire in the library itself.
1. Overfull back storage rooms. Nobody knows what is in here.
2. The museum wing of the library. The 600 manuscripts transferred here have some climate control and are available for research.
3. An archivist tries to match the seal on a document with other known seals to work out when it was written and by who.
4. Books that have been identified and wrapped in protective cloth.
5. Second century verses written on birch bark and attributed to Nagarjuna.
Taking a break in Mongolia
Page one of my thesis, which confusingly is one of the last pages finished. The map and the red mark on it show the extent of the Mongol horde in the 13th century, I LOVE maps.
I love this picture by Marcus Riga of the inside of a ger, with the family altar and morin khuur (traditional fiddle strung with horse hair) right next to the flatscreen TV and DVD player.
Sketches for Tuyaa, a Mongolian Vampire. Her companion is Muun, a gryphon.
Urga, Mongolia 1913