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Inner Mongolian saddler keeps ancient craft alive

By Yuan Hui and Zhang Li | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-03-29 15:43

Togtonbayar (right), a national-level inheritor of China's representative intangible cultural heritage, makes saddles at his workshop in Inner Mongolia. [Photo by Hao Xihui/For chinadaily.com.cn]

The residents of Inner Mongolia, dubbed the "horseback people", boast a more than 2000-year history of saddle-making.

Togtonbayar, a saddler from Horqin Left Wing Rear Banner in Tongliao city, has been engaged in saddle-making for at least 40 years.

According to the 72-year old saddler, traditional saddles highlight the exquisite arts of wood cutting, leather-weaving, metal-carving and embroidery.

In 2008, the Mongolian saddle was added to China's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and Togtonbayar become a national-level inheritor of China's representative intangible cultural heritage.

"Although few people use horses for transportation in Inner Mongolia, tourism development has spurred the demands for this handicraft and I hope this skill could be passed to young generations, " the saddler said.

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