The pictures below are a small sampling of Mongolian wear
The del is the traditional Mongolian costume, still widely worn throughout the country, especially outside the capital. The typical del is made of wool and worn by both sexes - although fancy women's dels will have an outer layer of silk bearing simple embroidered patterns, and some rich Mongolian men own suede dels. Normally, though a del is pretty much unisex.
Dels look like thick, knee-length togas - burgundy, olive, khaki, violet and marine blue are the most popular colours -, with a silk sash cinched around the waist - usually orange, but sometimes yellow, green or blue. They're more functional than beautiful, as befits a rough nomadic people living in such northern climes, but there's a definite charm in this minimalist accoutrement.
Winter dels are distinguished from their summer counterparts by their sheepskin lining and extra-long sleeves that protect hands in –40 degrees Celsius temperatures. A little strange at first glance – the sleeves often reach down to their owner's knees -, but again, perfectly in keeping with the nomadic lifestyle.
Hats And Boots
The felt loovuz, the traditional Mongolian headwear, is now, for all intents and purposes, worn only by wrestlers or older people on holidays, such as Tsaagan Sar and Naadam. They're very colourful - bright green or red, normally, with alternating crescents of black - with a golden point shooting up several inches from the top.
Nowadays, Mongolians wear an astonishing plethora of hats: baseball hats have made inroads here as in most other places around the world, but felt or straw fedoras are popular in the summer, and herders are not loath to don a truly bewildering array of "cowboy" hats originating from dozens of Central Asian peoples. In the winter, the Russian shapka is preferred, but many men wear a sheepskin-lined Mongolian felt hat with ear flaps and a chin strap - perfectly adapted to the life of the horse-riding, steppe-dwelling herdsman.
Before the Communist Revolution, most Mongolians wore leather boots with upturned toes - a Tibetan Buddhist importation designed to prevent man from hurting or desecrating the earth beneath him. Since 1921, the vast majority wear Western (especially Russian) boots, which are more durable and, presumably, easier to walk in. Monks still wear them, though, along with the small yellow hats that mark Vajrayana Buddhists from the Mahayana and Hinayana sects of eastern and southern Asia, respectively.
In the wintertime, many Mongolians wear thick, whitish felt boots that almost look like Neil Armstrong's moon boots, or albino elephant feet. They have a somewhat ragged appearance, as well, with thousands of small fibres shooting out into crooked darts like some crazed and dishevelled movie director. You would think they were extremely itchy, but they are, in fact, quite soft and, of course, warm. Nevertheless, they do tend to make a person look like the Yeti's smaller and shorter cousin.
|Daniel's Del||Daniel had his very own del made in the Gobi Desert by a meteorologist / seamstress.|
|Chinese Knot Buttons and Frog Fasteners||The Mongolians have made these their own. Kerij-e even shows you how to tie the knots!|
|Make a Medieval Del||Kerij-e's history lesson and very detailed how-to guide is a must-read.|