Face Music - Projects - Tsam Dance Masks - Mongolia
  • Traditional Dance Masks of Buddhists - Chaghan Ebügen

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P & C December 1998
- Face Music / Albi

- last update 03-2016

Old White Man

Chaghan Ebügen or Tsagaan uvgon (Mongolian)

Tsagaan uvgon is a popular protector or deity among Tibetan and Mongolian true believers. He has a dragon-shaped stick and is the Lord of Earth, heaven and livestock.

- Originally, he is the progenitor of the different families. He is also considered the protector of the herds and the giver of harvest. The figure of the Old White -Man may be found in large parts of Asia. On the one handside, he is considered a God of Fertility, on the other side he is seen as a symbol of long life. Christian Burjates consider him the Holy Nikolaus, for the Shamans he is Pan, the Spirit of Earth. In the tsam he plays the role of a clown like the Chinese monk Hoshang.


  • - white face colour
  • - high-domed baldy head of a very old man
  • - sometimes with a wart on his forehead
  • - long white beard
  • - long white and simple costume
  • - rosary with big pearls around his neck
  • - on his belt, there is often found a cutlery set or a big tobacco pouch

- In one hand he holds a long pilgrim stick with a figure at its higher end, usually presenting a dragon's head (this is reminiscent of its Shamanistic origin and stands for power), and in the other hand he holds a rosary with very big pearls.
People love to be touched by his pilgrim stick as this promises long life. During his tsam dance he often distributes tobacco, or sweets armong the children.

- None or very sluggish.

back to the Projects Dance Masks - Tsam Masks Mongolia

P & C Face Music - Ulaanbaatar, September / October 1999 - Albi
English translation: Hermelinde Steiner