A Study on Mongolian Jewelry

Author:Hu Si Le

Supervisor:pan lu sheng


Degree Year:2019





As an important component of Chinese jewelry culture,Mongolia jewelry collectively reflects the body ornaments of the nomadic peoples living on the northern grasslands.Mongolian jewelry is a set of body ornament art formed consciously or unconsciously in the development of Mongolian nationality,whose design arts,material crafts and cultural connotation embody the characters of the northern nomadic peoples.With the help of literature research and field investigation,as well as history,linguistics and folk ethics,the research made a thorough study on the history tracing,style evolution,craft development and custom connotation of Mongolian jewelry in order to uncover its relation with Mongolian history and culture.Meanwhile,in the process of contact and communication with other peoples,new styles,crafts and cultural connotation have also been absorbed into Mongolian jewelry.Mongolian jewelry is not only an important epitome of Mongolian aesthetic culture,but a significant example of the varieties of Chinese people’s aesthetic culture.In this research,the first chapter elaborates the formation and development of Mongolian nationality,and then introduces Mongolian jewelry on the whole,which leads to the argument that Mongolian jewelry collectively reflects the body ornaments of the nomadic peoples living on the northern grasslands.The second chapter traces the origination of the style and culture of Mongolian jewelry from the perspective of the body ornament arts of the northern nomadic peoples,explaining the foundation of the importance of Mongolian jewelry,as well as the strong nomadic features of the design arts and material crafts of Mongolian jewelry.From chapter three to Chapter five,the researcher studies the evolution of Mongolian jewelry in chronological order.First targeted on Mongolian headwear,these chapters elaborate its era features and evolution reasons,analyzing the exchange and influence between Mongolian jewelry and the jewelry of Central China and Man nationality with examples.Chapter six makes a relative research on Mongolian jewelry from the perspective of the craftsmen,tools,material and craft in order to show the significant influence of the areas,such as Persia,Arab,Tujue and Central China etc.,on Mongolian jewelry.This research has solved the following problems.First,by tracing the origination of Mongolian jewelry,it demonstrates that Mongolia jewelry had been formed on the foundation of the ornamental culture of the peoples living on the northern grasslands.Therefore,it is Mongolian jewelry that collectively reflects the body ornaments of the peoples on the northern grasslands,because its design arts and material arts have strong features of the grassland peoples.Second,the styles,crafts and connotations of Mongolian jewelry have historical inheritance.While the styles of Mongolian jewelry in the Yuan,Ming and Qing dynasties seems different,the designs,crafts and custom connotations have continuity to a certain degree.Third,Mongolian jewelry has absorbed the design and culture of Persia,Arab,Tujue,Tibetan,Central China and Man nationality,experiencing and witnessing the history of the Grassland Silk Road and the Belt and Road,therefore,it has historical significance.From the naming of some Mongolian jewelry,it is easy to find out that the names of Mongolian jewelry had used those in Persia and Arab languages,which illustrates that Mongolia had extensive communication with them economically and culturally.The changing of material names in different historical periods shows that different periods had different significant influence on Mongolian jewelry,for example,the word"coral”appearing in the annotation of this thesis was "sitan" in the Yuan Dynasty,and was "giru" in the Qing Dynasty,which shows that coral was originated from the Arabic language,and the changing of names was due to the influence of Tibetan Lama(of Buddhism)religion on Mongolian culture in the Qing Dynasty.Being neighbors historically,Tujue and Mongolia not only had some common jewelry vocabulary but also borrowed some from each other.Although the form high headwear of the Yuan Dynasty disappeared in Inner Mongolian and Mongolian,it has been preserved in Middle Asia,which shows that dynasty changing also greatly influenced the development of Mongolia jewelry.Moreover,the jewelry design of Central China had influenced Mongolian jewelry in the communication of many fields,for example,such Chinese characters as“嚞”、“寿”can often be found in Mongolia jewelry.Fourth,although Mongolia jewelry has unique feature in China,it closely resembles that in the Altay region from the characteristics of design and naming.Therefore,the jewelry of the peoples speaking the Altay languages could be seen as a system,and the researcher proposes a new concept called Altay Jewelry System or Style.Fifth,although Mongolian jewelry,especially headwear,have appeared in different designs and styles,the customs related to jewelry culture are rather steady,and the key value concept and ideology are consistent.This shows the mentality on life and soul of Shamanism,a original religion,have been reflected in the jewelry culture,which is specifically manifested in the sexual reproduction and family prosperity etc.First of all,combining basic theories with applied research,and based on the basic theory of ethnography,this research made an detailed study on the developing culture including craftsmen,tools,material and crafts of Mongolian jewelry,which differs from the texts of simple artistic design study.Besides,with the help of linguistic research methods,this research used art archaeology as the discipline support to study Mongolian jewelry,then supplemented and certified by relative knowledge of historical linguistics and cognitive linguistics.Moreover,this research utilized the achieved research results of the Altay family and linguistic material including ancient Tujue language,Mediaeval Mongolia,as well as the living linguistic material of Modern Mongolia and dialects of the Man language.It also annotated a large number of names of Mongolian jewel,material and tools,and used international phonetic symbols to mark the Latin words,rather than literal translation.On the basis of foundation database,the research made a lot of field researches and formed field research foundation database.By sorting out the vocabulary of the Altay languages including the Tujue language and Mongolia,the researcher built up a language material database.Based on these two databases,the author made a systematic study and proposed a new concept called Altay Jewelry.In summary,Mongolian jewelry collectively reflects the body ornaments of the peoples living on the northern grasslands,and the design arts,material arts and aesthetic culture have strong features of the northern nomadic peoples.Mongolian jewelry is historically inherited,because although Mongolian jewelry seemed different historically,the designs,crafts and custom connotations are consistent to different degree.Mongolia is an important component of the Chinese people,therefore,being one of the spirit culture of Mongolia,Mongolian jewelry have witnessed and embodied the economical and cultural history of the Grassland Silk Road.By absorbing a great deal of ornament arts,crafts and materials,Mongolian jewelry also affects the body ornament culture of the neighboring nationalities,and thus can be regarded as a colorful and ever-changing art form.As one of the important carriers and cultural symbols of Chinese aesthetic culture,Mongolian jewelry is of great significance for the study of aesthetic diversity of the Chinese people.