Monday, July 14, 2008

Mongolia Culture Blog: Mongolian Wrestling


Mongolia Culture Blog: Mongolian Wrestling


So I found this blog which has various information on Mongolian culture. Seeing as this is Naadam, I thought I would blog about the legend surrounding the design & origins of the Mongolian wrestling costume. Legend has it that the top half of the wrestler's costume, called Zodog in Mongolian, used to be closed in the front, sort of like a mini-sweater. Before one particular Naadam, one of the champion wrestlers fell ill and his identical twin sister, a burly strong woman, decided to take his place. She wrapped herself in breast binding and wore the wrestler's costume, and entered Naadam wrestling. So as the legend says, she won that Naadam. And one official, who had been watching her do the wrestler's pre-match "eagle dance" in a somewhat feminine way, grew suspicious. Some versions say the officials confronted her, upon which she revealed herself to be a woman. Other versions say that her Zodog was ripped during the final match, revealing her to be a woman. After this, they decided to make the Zodog open at the front, ensuring that no man will ever feel the shame of losing to a woman at one of the "three manly games".
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