Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (1)

Aobaos, which are conical mass of stones in the open grasslands of Inner Monogolia, certainly look “foreign” to me.

Aobao was born as a landmark for the grasslands. They were  used to signify the border or to demarcate cities. After the era of Genghis Khan, people admired and yearned for brave heroes who died at the war front. They then made Aobaos as tombs and inserted their swords or axes, which they used when they were still alive, atop the Aobaos.

Later on,  Aobao became a place for sacrifice to the mountain god, the road god and the war-god.

And now, the Aobao’s most important use is for sacrifice. People always sacrifice the best corn, meet, fruit and alcohol to Aobao and pray for good weather, good harvest and good fortune.

Every summer, herdsmen will come to the Aobaos with their offerings. At this time, the Aobaos are decorated with pure white scarves or hadas at the center of the Aobao and colorful pieces of cloth around it and beautiful ethnic dances will be performed around them.

Aobaos are also symbolic things. It is also a place for dating for the young people as Aobaos are now considered romantic meeting places.

41 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign (1)

  1. Don’t really know what to say now … have use all expressions there is under the moon, but now. This one of my favorites – and I like the little add on about the history around them. And I like the thought of they being a romantic meeting place, a bit like the “hug square” at the station in Simrishamn. There isn’t places like that enough in the world.

  2. How interesting Michael. It’s wonderful seeing all these things from different cultures. What seems outlandish to one is quite normal to another. It sort of shakes up our way of seeing the world doesn’t it?

    Warm regards

    • I watched 30 series of a DVD on the Conquers of Genghis Khan and they did tak about conquering the country which is now Iraq; it is just fascinating. I have been to Inner Mongolia and would like to write some posts about it in the future. Regards, Michael

  3. I always really enjoy reading your Weekly Photo Challenge posts. Not only are they extremely interesting, and the photography beautiful, I learn something. I like that! Thank you! 🙂

  4. Thank you for the photo & explanation – I’ve never seen these, but the world over, the urge to pile stones and make an offering is a common one. It seems the urge to make a mark on the land can evolve in so many directions, over time. Inner Mongolia is fascinating – would love to see & read more about it.

    • As you said, piling stones to form landmarks are quite common, but different cultures have evolved this along different lines. I would be sharing some of the photos and posts on Inner Mongolia soon. Thanks for your perusal!

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