This glorious headdress and collier were once worn by a woman of the Chalcha, a Mongolian Subgroup. They were a sign that this woman was married. They were also part of her personal “savings account” of jewellery.
Halh married woman’s outfit consists of a hat, garment, waistcoat, boots, headdress, pendants, braid sheaths and other jewelery. A Halh bride receives a dowry of clothing and jewelry on her wedding day, marking her new marital status, wealth and ethnic group. In contrast to a maiden’s outfit, the married woman’s gown has no belt. A tall, pointed hat replaces the maiden’s round hat. The gown’s raised shoulder pads complement the elaborate, winged hair with its barrettes and skull cap and helps hold the hair in place. In the past, it was believed that the hairstyle should resemble the wings of a garuda, a mythical beast. This hairstyle was particularly popular with the Halh. The braid sheaths give the appearance of extremely long hair, which was a traditional mark of beauty. Great attention was paid to the ornamentation of the headdress. The skull cap originated from the 13th Century married woman’s hat. Generally, wives wore an “uuj” (something like a long waistcoat without sleeves) over the traditional Mongolian dress. The waistcoat was worn for ceremonies.