Repository logo

Rimma Badmaeva, about weddings



Change log


Terbish, Baasanjav 


Rimma says that Derbets and Torghuts have similar wedding customs. Everything begins with matchmaking. First, the groom’s side delivers a box of vodka and boiled mutton (including 3 legs, the sheep’s skull without the jaw and the tongue) to the bride’s side. For the wedding, the groom’s side brings two sheep: one live and one cooked. Other wedding gifts include dairy products, more vodka and foodstuff. When the groom’s side sets off to bring the bride from her natal house, the delegation should consist of an odd number of people, the idea being that when the bride joins the delegation the number will be even. The delegation should have more men than women. There should be at least two women, however. Torghuts perform the following rite at their weddings. They wrap white and red coins into a scarf so that the new family becomes strong and united. By contrast, Derbets do not have such a custom. Traditionally, during the wedding the bride was taken to all the groom’s relatives for introduction. She bowed to all these people. Today, by contrast, brides usually bow to their in-laws only. The bride’s parents send a piece of cloth to the groom’s parents who sew a dress for the bride to wear after her wedding. When the bride enters the house of the groom, there is a custom whereby people shoot rifles into the air so that evil spirits do not follow the bride indoors. The groom’s parents accept their new daughter-in-law, divide her hair into two braids and give her a new name by which she will be called in her new house. The bride’s relatives pay her a visit later, with gifts and vodka. In the past the gift bundle included a dress.




Is Part Of


Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

Publisher DOI

Publisher URL

Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.