Mongolian coaxing ritual „Hoos“

The climate in the Gobi desert is hard and challenging for both, humans and animals. Mongolian nomads live in close relation to nature, depending on what natural ressources provides them with. Due to hard weather conditions it happens not infrequently that either a camel baby or mother die during or after delivery. In this situation it is a question of surviving to bring an orphaned baby camel together with a camel mare who is not his mother. However, it can also happen that a baby is rejected by the birth mother. For such situations mongolian nomads have developed an unique musical ritual to help them: the Hoos ritual, which shall bring them together, to help the mother to accept the baby. A musician starts to play the horsehead fiddle morin khuur or mongolian flute and another musician starts to sing „khuus, khuus, khuus“. This ritual goes on for many hours until the mother begins to weep. In that moment she will be ready to accept the foal.

The german documentary film „Die Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel” by director Byambasuren Davaa from Mongolia and the italien director and camera operator Luigi Falorni from 2003 describes this ritual. Read here an interview with Byambasuren Davaa.

Unesco listed the mongolian coaxing ritual as Intangible World Heritage 2015.