The Morin Huur and its Place in Mongolian History and Culture
Eight hundred years ago, Chingis Khaan (the proper transliteration of the great Genghis Khan) united the nomadic tribes spread all across central Asia and formed the nation of Mongolia. This past July this anniversary was celebrated by the Mongolian people and Dan Chaston.
Dan studied the music of this fascinating nation with a particular emphasis on a musical instrument known as the Morin Huur (quite literally, the “Horse Harp”). The music played on the instrument is reminiscent of the nomadic lifestyle of the Mongolian people and more specifically the characteristics, sounds, and movement of the horses on which the Mongolian people stake their livelihood. Although this nomadic horse culture is very much unknown to the rest of the world and has been affected by the advent of technology and the rise and fall of communism in Mongolia in the last 80 years, the people of Mongolia still live and celebrate their unique heritage today.