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Despite there being a small group of "hardcore" lovers of these herder badges, it may be that we have still been underestimating their significance.

Below is a nice piece of silverware which I found in the National History Museum in UB last week. The centerpiece caught my eye, looks familiar doesn't it?

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Card reads "The silver board and molded cattle figure were awarded to the stated honoured herders since 1944".

From a Mongolian forum friend and (recent) book author I met in UB I understand that the early recipients (type 1/2) of the herder badges received the silver "block" with the 2 animals and also a pair of silver (milk) buckets as an additional sign of appreciation. It must be pretty important to be a herder to not just get a badge but also these items (especially during 40's and 50's when I guess Mongolia wasn't very affluent in the post-war years.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Come now, is it possible for anything that has to do with Mongolian awards to get "less complicated"?!As with all other Mongolian awards, these badges deserve -- and are getting here -- a closer and more focused look that has ever taken place before.

A little thread bump, Yes a lot more clarification is coming on these awards and, as we will be able to soon see, these are of exceptional significance and with a history which is very interesting indeed.

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Here is confirmation of the badge number and certificate number awarded in November 1943 to Togoochiin Jigjid

I seem to have some formating issues so I will just attach the text as a picture file.

Edited by fjcp
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And last but not least... The Badge was awarded in conjunction with one of several gifts. All seemed to receive a pair of Mongolian boots (Felt, no doubt) and there were several other options. Togoochiin Jigjid was awarded/chose a pair of binoculars which, considering there was a war raging, must have been a luxury indeed. Again, I feel this goes to show just how important these badges really are.

More to come!

Jan

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Excellent!

Rest assured, a LOT more interesting stuff coming in this thread!

Wish I could find more of these early herder badges (on eBay) to add to my small 'stable'!

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Best herder badge 393 - awarded at the second conference of the Best Herders of the MPR, in November 1943, to Daramyn Zagdsambar

Precinct 9, Naran county, Zavhan province

Recommendation:

Full name

Age

Sex

Occupation

Ethnicity

Address

Number of owned livestock

Serial number of the badge

Daramyn Zagdasambar

44

Male

Herder

Halha

Precinct # 9, Naran county, Zavhan province

161 heads

393 (handwritten)

Daramyn Zagdasambar owned just three animals in 1921. As of 1942, he owned 131 heads of livestock and as of 1943-161 heads. In 1942 he reared 18 newborn animals from 18 mother animals. In 1943, he reared 51 newborn animals from 57 mother animals. He also combed 80 kg of wool in 1942 and 109 kg in 1943. Herder Zagdsambar prepared 50 centners of hay in 1942 and 98 centners in 1943. In 1942, he built two large corrals and one in 1943. He also built a small corral for his herds in 1942. Comrade Zagdsambar is an active participant of party/public work and is an exemplary herder.

As present he had a pair of Mongolian boots and a pair of leather boots.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2014/post-679-0-84285900-1397899915.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2014/post-679-0-11837900-1397899934.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2014/post-679-0-13497600-1397899945.jpg

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Choijin Nanzai was awarded nr 257 at the first conference of the Best Herders of the MPR in December 1941.

He is from Manhan county, Hovd province

He was also recommended to be awarded with the Honorary Medal of Labor but his award recommendation was elevated to the Order of Polar Star. A photo was managed to be found as well apparently some photos of participants of the First conference were preserved - it appears that the photos were taken prior to their participation as they do not wear their badges. May be they are registration photos as the background of the photos of different herders are the same.

Full name

Age

Sex

Occupation

Address

Order/medal recommended

Order/medal awarded

Choijin Nanzai

42 (hand-written)

Male

Herder

Precinct # 4, Manhan county, Khovd province

Honorary Medal of Labor

Order of the Polar Star (hand-written)

Choijin Nanzai owned no animal in 1931. As of 1941, he owned 434 heads of livestock and reared all mother animals with no loses. Herder Nanzai prepared 26 centners in 1941. He built a large corral for his livestock. He fulfilled by 90% the wool quota for this year.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2014/post-679-0-69682800-1397900210.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2014/post-679-0-99967400-1397900488.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2014/post-679-0-24687300-1397900504.jpg

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Card reads "The silver board and molded cattle figure were awarded to the stated honoured herders since 1944".

From a Mongolian forum friend and (recent) book author I met in UB I understand that the early recipients (type 1/2) of the herder badges received the silver "block" with the 2 animals and also a pair of silver (milk) buckets as an additional sign of appreciation. It must be pretty important to be a herder to not just get a badge but also these items (especially during 40's and 50's when I guess Mongolia wasn't very affluent in the post-war years.

attachicon.gifIMG_3575.JPG

Some more insight from the same expert referred to above.

There were 4 "Best Herders of the MPR" conferences:

  • 1st: December 1941
  • 2nd: November 1943
  • 3rd: 1948
  • 4th: 1955

Best Herder badges were only awarded to participants of these conferences. They were not awarded to herders who did not participate in these conferences.

Any reference to these badges being awarded during the 1920's therefore is incorrect.

Also, it explains why so many type 2 and type 3 badges in mint condition where sold by the Bank of Mongolia a decade ago as these were badges left over from the reserves of unawarded badges. Leaves the question open as to why the Best Herder conferences stopped taking place.

Apparently the majority of the herders who received a Best Herder badge also received an Honorious Medal of Labour medal. The participants in the conferences were the "cream of the crop" of all of Mongolia's herders.

Further 'proof' of the significance is the gifts being awarded to these herders in addition to the badge:

  • During the early years: each Best Herder badge recipient also received a pair of Mongolian boots as gift as well as a choice of one of the following... silk for a deel coat, silk for a deel belt, a pair of binoculars, a hat or a pair of leather boots - the gift was on behalf of the Council of Ministers and there is a registry of these gifts (incl recipients)
  • Since 1944 apparently also (or: instead of?) the silver items mentioned above

Regarding the badges:

  • Out of the estimated 400 type 1 badges produced, 375 were awarded during the First conference (nov/dec 1941)
  • Marshal Choibalsan got the Badge of the Best Herder of MPR with serial number 1
  • Apparently Choibalsan took a personal interest in the herders and the conferences were organized under his direct control and with his close support
  • Apparently many of the type 1 badges were withdrawn and replaced with type 2 badges, thus making type 1 badges (mainly awarded in 1941) very, very rare
  • Serial number 376-661 (type 2 var 1 = relief reverse made of silver plated brass) most likely covers all badges awarded to the 285 herders who qualified for the Second conference
  • Type 2 var 2 badges were most likely awarded for the 3rd conference
  • Type 3 badges (large Mongolian made silver badge with Cyrillic inscription; no serial nr) were awarded at the last conference in 1944 (due to a lack of serial nr, only through an award document would there ever be the possibility of finding out more related to the recipient)

Hope I didn't make any major errors while summarizing the feedback received. Above is not information uncovered by me, I'm just sharing it here.

Many more questions left open of course... why did the conferences stop for instance?

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Great stuff Bob. I have a few more interesting things to add when I get home... I also have some theories on why the conferences stopped. With some evidence to support my theory.

I just had a thought about the 3rd type badges. In this thread there are three documents shown for the type 3 badges from 1959,'61 and '62. How would those fit in? Anyway more when I get home, but food for thought.

Jan

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There is a chance I may br getting a pair of binoculars awarded to a herder in the '40s .... Good provenance and from a reliable source but no "proof". At least it'll be representative of the gift if nothing more... And what I wouldn't give for those little statues and "board".. Awesome.

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Some more insight from the same expert referred to above.

There were 4 "Best Herders of the MPR" conferences:

  • 1st: December 1941
  • 2nd: November 1943
  • 3rd: 1948
  • 4th: 1955

Best Herder badges were only awarded to participants of these conferences. They were not awarded to herders who did not participate in these conferences.

Any reference to these badges being awarded during the 1920's therefore is incorrect.

Also, it explains why so many type 2 and type 3 badges in mint condition where sold by the Bank of Mongolia a decade ago as these were badges left over from the reserves of unawarded badges. Leaves the question open as to why the Best Herder conferences stopped taking place.

Apparently the majority of the herders who received a Best Herder badge also received an Honorious Medal of Labour medal. The participants in the conferences were the "cream of the crop" of all of Mongolia's herders.

Further 'proof' of the significance is the gifts being awarded to these herders in addition to the badge:

  • During the early years: each Best Herder badge recipient also received a pair of Mongolian boots as gift as well as a choice of one of the following... silk for a deel coat, silk for a deel belt, a pair of binoculars, a hat or a pair of leather boots - the gift was on behalf of the Council of Ministers and there is a registry of these gifts (incl recipients)
  • Since 1944 apparently also (or: instead of?) the silver items mentioned above

Regarding the badges:

  • Out of the estimated 400 type 1 badges produced, 375 were awarded during the First conference (nov/dec 1941)
  • Marshal Choibalsan got the Badge of the Best Herder of MPR with serial number 1
  • Apparently Choibalsan took a personal interest in the herders and the conferences were organized under his direct control and with his close support
  • Apparently many of the type 1 badges were withdrawn and replaced with type 2 badges, thus making type 1 badges (mainly awarded in 1941) very, very rare
  • Serial number 376-661 (type 2 var 1 = relief reverse made of silver plated brass) most likely covers all badges awarded to the 285 herders who qualified for the Second conference
  • Type 2 var 2 badges were most likely awarded for the 3rd conference
  • Type 3 badges (large Mongolian made silver badge with Cyrillic inscription; no serial nr) were awarded at the last conference in 1944 (due to a lack of serial nr, only through an award document would there ever be the possibility of finding out more related to the recipient)

Hope I didn't make any major errors while summarizing the feedback received. Above is not information uncovered by me, I'm just sharing it here.

Many more questions left open of course... why did the conferences stop for instance

In general, the herder conferences were meant to boost Mongolia's economy through increasing the livestock population. As animal husbandry was the main engine of the national economy then, it was important to increase number of animals and animal by-products. In order to achieve this goal, the Government decided to hold these conferences. The first goal of the conference was to explain the herders on the importance of their work for development of the country. The government policies on agriculture and animal husbandry were explained to the herders. Secondly, the herders were encouraged to share their best practices and experiences on managing their herds. Also, there were some external factors. In 1940, Stalin during a meeting with Choibalsan casually advised Mongolian delegates to see if it is feasible to increase the total number of livestock to 200.000.000. At that time, the total number of livestock in Mongolia was less than 20 million (Even now we have some 30 million heads). He also requested the Mongolian government to drastically increase Mongolia's export of wool. It was impossible to fulfill Stalin's advice on increasing population of livestock and Choibalsan knew that. However, he did not disagree with Stalin, probably remembering his predecessors who openly disagreed with the leader of the world proletarians and ended up in the prisons of NKVD (Two Prime Ministers were executed in Soviet Union). Also, the start of the Great Patriotic war in USSR prompted the Mongolian government to exert all efforts to assist the Soviets in winning the war. This was done by reducing imports of goods from USSR and increase of exports to the Soviet Union. Not to mention the gifts.

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Why they stopped the conferences: Since majority of animals were owned by herders themselves, the above conferences started to breach the founding principles of socialism. After sometime after the death of Choibalsan in 1952, his successors who were educated in the Soviet Union and closely familiar with Marxist-Leninist doctrines started to criticize the policy of supporting private farms and herds. Some of the herders, who participated in all 4 conferences, owned more than 1000 heads of livestock. So they started to look like capitalists. In order to fix this "error", Yu. Tsedenbal, who succeeded Choibalsan as Prime Minister, initiated "unionization" policy which required to join all herders animal under the state-funded collective farm. The "unionization" officially started in 1958. With the new collective farms in place, new policies and incentives were introduced. Since then, instead of Best herders, the Government identified Champion herders every year.

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Wow, great to see so much information coming out.

It stimulated me to dust of some of my docs.

Here's a document that is supposed to be for a type 3 best herder badge.

Issued in 1958. Don't know exactly how this fits in with the last conference in 1955?

bh1al10.jpg

bh1bl10.jpg

bh1cl10.jpg

Best regards,

jan

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Choijin Nanzai was awarded nr 257 at the first conference of the Best Herders of the MPR in December 1941.

He is from Manhan county, Hovd province

He was also recommended to be awarded with the Honorary Medal of Labor but his award recommendation was elevated to the Order of Polar Star. A photo was managed to be found as well apparently some photos of participants of the First conference were preserved - it appears that the photos were taken prior to their participation as they do not wear their badges. May be they are registration photos as the background of the photos of different herders are the same.

Full name

Age

Sex

Occupation

Address

Order/medal recommended

Order/medal awarded

Choijin Nanzai

42 (hand-written)

Male

Herder

Precinct # 4, Manhan county, Khovd province

Honorary Medal of Labor

Order of the Polar Star (hand-written)

Choijin Nanzai owned no animal in 1931. As of 1941, he owned 434 heads of livestock and reared all mother animals with no loses. Herder Nanzai prepared 26 centners in 1941. He built a large corral for his livestock. He fulfilled by 90% the wool quota for this year.

attachicon.gifCh. Nanzai.jpgattachicon.gifChoijin Nanzai recommendation.jpgattachicon.gifNanzai.jpg

Choijin Nanzai personally filled in a questionaire during the conference. The herders at the conference represented all herders and were required to fill out this questionnaire during the conference. The results were then analyzed and subsequently put in the form of a handbook. The handbook contained the advice on how to take care of the herds (a very well written book with color illustrations of plants, etc) and distributed to the herders. The book was written by Comrade J. Sambuu who later became the Chairman of the Presidium of State Great Khural (you can see his signature on all award booklets of 1960s and early 1970s). Sambuu even spent some time with few selected best herders to have them review the book. This questionnaire was an important start towards compiling this handbook.

Attached is an example of the questionnaire. Translation to follow later.

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