Rich variety of traditional Long Song passed down for generations identified in Gobi region

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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ( – A rich variety of traditional long song passed down for generations, was identified in South Gobi by researchers of the Tangible Heritage team, as a part of the Oyu Tolgoi Cultural Heritage Programme. Urtyn duu balladeers describe the South Gobi form of singing and lyrics passed down from their ancestors as an important and unique part of their heritage.

O.Sukhbaatar, resident of Bayan-Ovoo soum of Umnugobi aimag inherited a compilation of Gobi urtyn duu or long song ballads from his ancestors, which he said included: “lyrics which were forbidden during the Socialist period due to the religious themes, which were unknown to the public.” His ancestors were taishi (gentry) by birth. He shared his compilation with the researchers.

Lyrics of one verse of renowned Mongolian long song 'Sun of the Universe' which is not included in the popular version sung nowadays and relates to religion and state, is fully recorded in this compilation. This attracted attention of the researchers and scientists.

This compilation of the Gobi long song inherited by O.Sukhbaatar is written in the early 20th century using old Mongolian script (uigurjin) on Chinese paper. The lyrics of about 30 long songs are fully recorded in the compilation.


Oyu Tolgoi LLC is Mongolia’s largest copper and gold mining company and is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia (34 per cent stake), Ivanhoe Mines (66 per cent) and Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto is the major shareholder in Ivanhoe Mines and the manager of the Oyu Tolgoi project. In addition to dividends from its 34 per cent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, the Government of Mongolia will receive taxes and royalties.

Oyu Tolgoi, located in the Gobi desert in southern Mongolia, will be one of the largest and highest-grade copper and gold mines in the world. It is the largest project ever developed in Mongolia, requiring a capital investment for phase one of more than US$6 billion. 

Oyu Tolgoi is committed to contributing to a sustainable future for Mongolia. At least 9 out of 10 employees will be Mongolian once the mine is in production and Oyu Tolgoi is investing US$58 million dollars (78 billion MNT) in training and education and an additional US$27 million dollars (36 billion MNT) in the Workforce Employment Project designed to help address the general skills shortage in Mongolia.

Oyu Tolgoi’s key priorities are the health and safety of employees, best-practice environmental management, contributing to sustainable communities and always doing business with integrity, for the benefit of all the project’s shareholders and the people of Mongolia.

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About Oyu Tolgoi LLC (

Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company, is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto. Located in the South Gobi, Oyu Tolgoi commenced shipment of product to customers in July 2013. Oyu Tolgoi is managed by Rio Tinto, which is investing global expertise and cutting-edge technology to help develop Mongolia’s mining industry and ensure Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world’s most advanced mines. For Oyu Tolgoi, nothing matters more than safety. The business operates under the principle that if a job cannot be done safely, it will not be done at all.

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