The Republic of Mongolia lies on a high plateau between Russia and China. The raw beauty of its landscape is breathtaking. A proximity to animals and the environment has led to a rich heritage of songs and tales related to nature. This book includes 25 traditional Mongolian folktales. The most ancient date back to the 12th century and are concerned with human relations with the natural world. Others use the whimsicality of animals to describe peopleÕs struggles to find a good and decent life. Still others frankly applaud cunning, with, and the ability to survive an unfriendly competition. The immediacy of these stories and illustrations is compelling. The tales should by all rights be read aloud to children. At the same time, the foundations of the rich culture that they describe will be of significance to anyone studying Central Asian history and culture. The stories are vividly illustrated by the papercuts of the Mongolian artists N. Baatarstog. An introduction to the book has been written by the eminent authority on folktales in Mongolia, P. Khorloo, the author of several scholarly volumes and collector of many of these tales in the early part of this century. Hilary Metternich has edited and assembled the book; she is a scholar of Mongolian culture and the wife of the German ambassador in Ulaanbaatar.
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