Combining the rings | Mongolia

Name in Original Language

Бөгж нийлүүлэх

Area Where Played



There are many games to unravel the maze and nods originated from the herders’ lives. For instance, Mongolian ancestors used to tie the kinks and loops using the leather straps, ropes, threads, short cords and fibers and teach the children how to untie them since their early childhood. There were about forty types of traditional games with mazes and nods such as sheep ties, ties of travel bags, tying/untying the pair of stirrups, separating the body from the tether, camel hopple, nine holes, and combining the rings and etc. Most of these games are forgotten gradually by the change of lifestyles.

Detailed Description

Mongolians used to analyze the intellectuality of their future daughter-in-law /bride/ besides of their outer beauties, behaviors and hardworking qualities since the ancient times using the game “Combining the rings”. They concluded as wise women if the bride can combine the ankle bones hanging in the loops of two ends of small cattle (sheep and goats) shin bones into one loop. This game improves the skills of clearly and carefully observing the things, ability to think from different aspects, memorizing ability and endless attempts and is suitable for the people of all ages. Moreover, Mongolians did not forget to invent the games to test the mentality, intellectuality and visioning skills of the life of their grooms or future son-in-law. When girls turn the marrying age, their parents start to prepare two shin bones. One should be cleaned well by removing all of the meat and the other should be left with average amount of meat and dry well. So, if they assume that the future son-in-law is suitable after analyzing all of his aspects, they give him well cleaned shin bone. A man who easily removed the ankle bones from the shin bone is assumed as “already grown up and it is the time to marry” and accepts his request. On the contrary, they gave the shin bone with dried skins and meat that any wrestler cannot remove the ankle bone to the person who has bad reputation in the country and who’s origin is unclear. Then they reasoned to the man who is not fated to become son-in-law as “We played the game of removing the ankle bone according to the tradition. But, you haven’t reached the adult age and thus, we cannot give you our daughter. Therefore, please, beg for our daughter after you reach the adulthood” and feasted him and returned.


Methodology to play

1. Preparing position

2. Hold two threads by combining and make four loops by pulling through the hole.

3. Pull the looped threads by separating in two.

4. Pull back from the rear end.

5. Pull back and remove.


1. L. Tudev. “Mongolian games”2009
2. Z. Tumen-Ulzii, a founder of “International intellectual museum”,Cultural Meritorious Person, Best Inventor