Human Planet Proms – Khusugtun – Mongolia

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Uploaded on Aug 7, 2011

Human Planet Proms, ft Khusugtun – Mongol
The word ‘khusug’ means a cart used by pastoral nomads, and Khusugtun means the nomads who move with these carts. More generally, the word describes the process of moving camel, horse and yak caravans across the vast Gobi Desert. This transfer of peope and animals is at the heart of traditional Mongolian life.
Whole communities are packed up and put on the back of a khusug when the land turns fallow or the winter sets in. From the words of the songs, to the horse-head fiddles they use, Khusugtun capture and evoke movement: this positive, forward-moving energy, tinged with the melancholy of farewell. They are a group who perform songs that Genghis Khan himself would have heard, as well as preserving and bringing the 21st century traditions that hang on a thread, as many Mongolians make one last journey, leaving the Gobi Desert and heading to the city for a new life. {taken from BBC Program notes/ James Parkin}

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