Mongolian Script Tattoos
Beautiful tattoos using the old mongolian script
Mongolian Script Tattoos
I am overwhelmed by the interest in Mongolian Script Tattoos. Basically a Mongolian Script Tattoo is a tattoo that uses the old Mongolian script that is written in vertical way. This script has a beautiful calligraphic style and elegance. It is written from top to bottom and from left to right.
Most wearers of these tattoos are Mongolians, but there are also many non Mongolians (especially Americans and Australians) interested in Mongolian Script Tattoos.
Find some more examples and discussion on Mongolian script and other scripts here.
History of the Mongolian Script
As of recent years, Mongolia has an interesting mix of different writing styles.
The official way of writing is the Cyrillic alphabet from Russia adjusted by a few letters. This has served a good purpose of helping bring alphabetization rates to near 100% and enable written communication with the large brother to the North.
After the collapse of communism, several attempts of reintroducing the historical script have not been very successful. Yet the historical script plays a small role now. The third script is due to the spread of computers and mobile phones: latin.
The historic Mongolian script is written top-down vertically and features many half-circles and bows. In culture, calligraphy and not least: in tattoo, the old script dominates. Yet, I have also seen Mongolian tattoos using Cyrillic script.
The traditional Mongolian script originated from Uyghurs and was adopted by the Manchus. Yet, the Manchus slightly changed the way it was written.
In the PRC, the old Mongolian script is still used. I am not sure though, if it would be always written exactly the same way as many words have a slightly different pronunciation in parts of China with Mongolian population and in Mongolia proper.
Popular designs and meanings
Think about the calligraphy you prefer: a more standardized calligraphy or handwritten form with more swing to it. Some popular meanings are texts in connection to Chinggis Khan or Buddhism or other religious scripts.
- Chinggis Khan
- Mongolian (Mongol Hun)
Be especially careful if you want a non Mongolian text written in Mongolian letters. Some sounds only exist in Mongolian while others only exist in the latin script and might not be fully transferred into Mongolian. Sometimes, foreign names are also written slightly different in Mongolian script – so a direct transcription is not always the perfect way.
A word of caution on foreign language tattoos
Many words cannot be directly translated. Some translations are wrong.
Plus: The beauty of Mongolian Script calligraphy comes from the adjustment of pressure on the brush. Here at Skin and Canvas, we are all for the inspiration of one art form to the other. But we also caution that ink needles and brushes work very differently.
Where can you get a Mongolian Script Tattoo
Obviously, the place to be is Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I strongly recommend you not to use a design from the internet to your local tattoo studio elsewhere – especially if you can not fully understand the meaning.
In Ulaanbaatar, I know that some of the following tattoo studios do good work – but I am not sure if I can fully recommend them for Mongolian script tattoos. Judging from Cyrillic writing, mistakes are rather frequent and you don’t want to have a spelling mistake inked on your body. So it is good to consult carefully before you get the tattoo.
How much does a Mongolian Script Tattoo cost
Tattoo prices are obviously a very individual thing. I can give you some hints for Ulaanbaatar though:
A small, one word Mongolian Script Tattoo that can be finished in a one hour session can cost 200,000 to 600,000 MNT.
A large, multiple word Mongolian Script Tattoo that might take 2-3 sessions to complete could cost 400,000 to 2 Million MNT.
Kindly also note that the MNT to USD exchange rate fluctuates a lot and inflation is also sometimes very high.