Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

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Mongolian Folk Dances


This dance is performed in very small space, expressing the different signs by movements of hands, shoulders, chest, waist, eyes and head.

Reasons for selection

Bii, or Bielgee, is a unique form of dance, originated from the nomadic way of life. Due to the urbanization many of its specific elements are going to be lost. Therefore, it is necessary to preserve it.

Area where performed

Almost all regions populated by different ethnic groups of Mongolia have their specific forms of Bii, Bielgee. Especially the western part of Mongolia is famous for its Bielgee dance.

Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance

Detailed explanation

In folk dance Bii, or Bielgee, music plays an important part in the choreographic art of the Mongols. Movements, which can be made within a restricted space, are essential features of Mongolian dance, in which the smallness of the space is compensated by the expressiveness of the movements of hands, shoulders, chest, waist, eyes and head.

Choreography is rich and diverse, since people living in different parts of the country employ different means of expressing their feelings. Many of the folk dances are performed to the accompaniment of the morin huur (horse fiddle), ikhel, sometimes in combination with other instruments.

There are also dances which are performed exclusively to the accompaniment of the human voice, for example, the Buryat dance Yohor.

That Mongolian dance developed very early is evidenced by a reference in the Secret History : The Mongols were wont to rejoice, dancing and feasting...they danced until there was dust up to their knees...

Publication and textual documentation

J. Jav
1999 Bujgiin urlagiig buteekh erdmiin asuudald.

1993 Mongol yastnii bujgiin khogjil.

Audio documentation


Visual documentation

D. Khishigt, Torguudiin ikh Agsal, Documentary Film, 1986.

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

Mongolian National Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in Ulaanbaatar.

Data provider

Executive Director
Mongolian National Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage
Address: Baga toiruu 22, Ulaanbaatar 46,
P.O. Box: 46/660, Mongolia