Behind every small detail of the Mandala Mongolia experience is a bigger story. From the handmade felt slippers gifted to our guests, to the soft wool Kazakh rugs that line the floors; the gers made the traditional way, the customary celebration meal cooked with hot stones and the soap maker’s organic products.
Mandala Mongolia partners with nomadic communities and people living in the city ger districts to support local craftsmanship. We aim to encourage a sense of skill ownership and enterprise, as well as celebrating Mongolian customs and culture.
Janlav the Ger Maker
The Mongolian ger is ubiquitous on the vast open steppes of Mongolia and is home to about one million herders. The tradition of ger making is still very much alive in Mongolia, and in 2013 the traditional craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger was recognised as our intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Janlav lives and works to the west of Ulaanbaatar in the suburb known locally as Orbit, where he crafts bespoke gers using methods handed down to him through generations. The Mandala family have worked with Janlav to craft ensuite gers with a few special features for our guests.
The Women of Otau Crafts
Mandala’s rugs are handmade in Mongolia’s far west among the high mountains of the Altai in the Bayan-Ulgii region of Mongolia, 1,700 km from Ulaanbaatar.
The women of Otau Crafts follow centuries old traditional techniques handed down through generations to craft these exquisite rugs, using only the wool from their free roaming sheep.
First established in 2006 as Kazakh Women’s Development and Supporting Centre NGO, Otau Crafts employs women working to support themselves and their families and they take great pride in keeping their history and traditions alive.
The crafts people of the ger districts
All of the furniture in the Mandala gers has been designed and handcrafted by Agii and his team in the North West of the capital, Ulaanbaatar’s ger district.
Mandala does not just commission such craftsman to demonstrate the very best work that they can do.
The Mandala family give these individuals support in growing and promoting their small businesses further.
The Nomadic Felting Cooperative
Established in 2012 Nomadic Felting is a socially responsible company and cooperative providing vocational training, skills and employment to people with disabilities, enabling self-empowerment and the skills and income to support their own lives.
These all-natural handmade slippers are created from raw Mongolian materials.
The wool is sourced locally supporting local nomadic families.