Himalayan Art Resources

Glossary: Mongolia

Glossary: Mongolia | Mongolia: Resource Page | Glossary: Index Page

Mongolia Glossary:

Begtse Coral Mask: a face mask of the protector deity made for dance and annual public rituals.

Black Hats: there are numerous black and blue coloured hats used by teachers of Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhism. The Jetsun Dampa incarnations are often depicted wearing black fur hats.

Bogd Khan Museum: a museum created from the residence of the Jetsun Dampa (early 20th century).

Buryatia, Siberia: a region of Siberian Russia where Mongolian Buddhism is practiced and artistic objects are preserved.

Buryat Historical Museum: housing a collection of painting, sculpture and miscellaneous ritual and dance objects.

Changkya Rolpai Dorje: the 3rd Changkya Hutuktu (1717-1786 [TBRC P182]). An important teacher of the Qianlong Emperor of China.

Chojin Lama Temple: formerly the temple of the national oracle of Mongolia. Currently the building is a museum with a fine collection of art and especially Zanabazar style sculpture.

Coral Mask: masks made from small beads of coral. The famous examples depict the protector deity Begtse Chen.

Dalai Lama: the nominal ruler of Tibet since the 17th century.

Danza Ravjaa: the name of an important reincarnate teacher of Mongolia. His activities were centered outside of Sainshand in the southern Gobi desert.

Danza Ravjaa Temple: located in the southern Gobi desert near the town of Sainshand.

Danza Ravjaa Museum, Sainshand: a museum created in the town of Saindhand to display many of the objects from Danza Ravjaa Temple that were hidden in the Gobi desert until the 1990s.

Dolonnor: a region of inner Mongolia on the southern side of the Gobi desert.

Dolonnor Style Sculpture: a unique and distinctive style of figurative sculpture characteristic of the Dolonnor region.

Dorje Shugden: a controversial protector deity popular in Mongolia.

Dorje Shugden Oracle, Chojin Lama Temple: a protector deity of Tibetan origin that served as the state oracle of Mongolia from the late 19th century through the early 20th century.

Dzaya Pandita: a famous teacher and incarnation lineage from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Erdenne Dzu Monastery: an important religious center from the 17th century located in Western Mongolia and serving as the original residence of Zanabazar.

Ganden Monastery, Ulan Bator: the most important Gelug center of Mongolia, situated in downtown Ulan Bator. It has many temples within the grounds along with a library.

Ganden Monastery Library, Ulan Bator: the main library of Ganden. It also houses a collection of paintings depicting the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas according to the system of Vajrasana. The paintings are new to Ganden and were brought for safe keeping from the monastery of Dzaya Pandita in the 1990s.

Gobi Lha Nga: identical to the Gowai Lha Nga, Mongolian folk belief maintains a connection between the Gowai Lha Nga and the Gobi desert.

Gowai Lha Nga (Five Personal Gods): a group of five gods born to each and every human.

Inner Mongolia: all of the Mongolian regions south of the Gobi desert.

Jonang: a tradition of Tibetan Buddhism centered at Jomonang Monastery in Tsang Province, Tibet. Followers of the Jonang are referred to as Jonangpa.

Kangxi Emperor: the grandfather of the Qianlong Emperor.

Krishnacharya, Mahasiddha: believed to be an early incarnation of Jetsun Taranata.

Lobzang Palden Tenpai Gyaltsen, 6th Jetsun Dampa:

Lobzang Tenpai Dronme, 2nd Jetsun Dampa:

Lobzang Tubten Wangchug, 4th Jetsun Dampa:

Masks: primarily used for dance rituals and sometimes for divination and oracle practices.

Miniature Paintings: small paintings often kept in sets and stacked like playing cards for storage.

Miniature Paintings, Zanabazar Museum: small paintings usually of figurative art depicting Buddha, deities and teachers.

Mongolia: referring to the Mongolian lands inhabited over time by the various Mongolian tribes. Currently there is Mongolia the country located north of China and Inner Mongolia as a region within the northern most regions of China.

National Museum, Ulan Bator: also known as the Zanabazar Museum, the largest and most important museum in Mongolia for Himalayan style art. It also houses one of the largest and most important collections of Zanabazar style sculpture in the world along with an impressive collection of large format textile art.

Ngagwang Chokyi Wangchug Trinle Gyatso, 7th Jetsun Dampa:

Ngagwang Lobzang Chokyi Nyima Tenzin Wangchug, 8th Jetsun Dampa:

Painting: Mongolian art employs many different painting styles.

Panchen Lama: a Tibetan line of incarnate teachers originating with the 1st [5th] Panchen Lama, Lobzang Chokyi Gyaltsen, a teacher to the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngagwang Lobzang gyatso.

Qianlong Emperor: ruler of China during the last half of the 18th century. He was a student of both Chankya Rolpai Dorje and the 3rd Panchen Lama, Palden Yeshe.

Sainshand Museum: a regional museum with many local artifacts and examples of Himalayan style art created in Mongolia.

Sculpture: there are two principal styles of Mongolian sculpture: Zanabazar style and Dolonnor style. There are many examples of minor works of both fine art and provincial art that are not yet categorized into individual styles with accompanying names.

Tashi Choling Monastery, Ulan Bator: functioning as both a monastery and a museum there are many interesting objects, paintings and textiles in the collection.

Taranata: believed to be the previous incarnation of the Jetsun Dampa of Mongolia.

Textile: any flat art, two dimensional, created from textiles such as applique, embroidery, weaving , etc.

Tsultrim Jigme Tenpai Gyaltsen, 5th Jetsun Dampa:

Ulan Bator: capital city of Mongolia.

Urga: another name used in the past for the capital city of Mongolia.

Winter Palace Museum: essentially another name for the Bogd Khan Museum, the former residence of the Jetsun Dampa in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Yeshe Dorje, 1st Jetsun Dampa:

Yeshe Tenpai Nyima, 3rd Jetsun Dampa:

Yonghegong Temple, Beijing: originally a princely palace located slightly to the north of the Forbidden City , later transformed in the 18th century into a temple which became the center of activities for Changkya Rolpai Dorje.

Yonghegong Temple, Painting: a selection of paintings from Yonghegong Temple.

Yonghegong Temple, Sculpture: a selection of sculpture from Yonghegong Temple.

Zanabazar: a Sanskritized name of Yeshe Dorje, the 1st Jetsun Dampa of Mongolia. Zana = jnana / bazar = benzar = vajra / Jnana Vajra = Yeshe Dorje.

Zanabazar Museum: also known as the National Museum, the largest and most important museum in Mongolia for Himalayan style art. It also houses one of the largest and most important collections of Zanabazar style sculpture in the world.

Zanabazar School Sculpture: a particular style of figurative sculpture with the origins attributed to the artistic aesthetics of Zanabazar Yeshe Dorje, the 1st Jetsun Dampa.

Jeff Watt 4-2019

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).