Tumenulzi: perpetuating the traditional morinkhor craft

Mongolia Instrument craftsman

The morinkhor is the traditional Mongolian music instrument, made of one piece of wood strung with two chords with a horse’s head sculpted on the headstock. Tumenulzi is 28, married and has two children aged 4 and 6. Tumenulzi started fabricating the morinkhor in 2003, after learning from a relative in his native village. He opened his own atelier in 2005 in Ulan-Bator.

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Etirely hand sculpted, Tumenulzi’s morinkhor is in high demand and some of the most popular Mongolian folk musicians play on his instruments. Tumenulzi took out a first loan from XacBank in 2006 to buy tools and wood. He has taken out his fourth loan recently to buy a computer. The loans have allowed him to acquire better tools and material and make better quality instruments. He is now able to produce 50 instruments each month three times more than when he started. He has bought a house, large enough for his family and hopes to further grow his business to provide financial security to his family and parents.

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