Bökh (Mongolian Wrestling)

The Mongolian wrestling is called “Bökh”, and the wrestler is called “Bökh Qin”. It is very popular in Inner Mongolia (north of China). Bökh is one of the Mongolian “Three manly skills”, together with horse racing and archery. It is a symbol of strength and courage.

The wrestlers are dressed in a special wrestling waistcoat which is called “Zhao Dege”. It is usually handmade of cowhide, deerskin or camel leather. The blister nails made from copper or silver are set in the waistcoat that is designed to make the wrestlers hold each other conveniently and absorb some of the impact when they wrestle to the ground. In the center of the waistcoat decorated with a dragon-shaped, phoenix-shaped, lion, tiger, elephant and more designs that represents the wrestlers’ acting is brave and mighty as those animals.

“Zhao Dege” is like an ancient armor. “Jiang Ga” is like a collar that is made of satin Hada (a piece of silk used as a greeting gift) hung down five color streamers with yellow, green, red, white and blue that around the wrestler’s neck.”Jiang Ga” is an ornament and also is a mark of experienced wrestlers. It is only when a wrestler win a championship in a large Nadam Fair that he is eligible for adorning. Then every time he wins championships, a bunch of colorful ribbons will be added to “Ga “. More ribbon means the wrestler wins more. As time going, wrestlers are not limited to men, and there are womens ‘and boys’ divisions separately in the game.

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