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Snuff Bottle /Khoorog/



Snuff bottles were used by the Chinese, Mongolians during the Qing Dynasty to contain powdered tobacco. Smoking tobacco was illegal during the Qing Dynasty, but the use of snuff was allowed because the Chinese considered snuff to be a remedy for common illnesses such as colds, headaches and stomach disorders. Therefore, snuff was carried in a small bottle like other medicines. The snuff bottle replaced the snuff box used by Europeans.


Khoorog or snuff-bottle is a tool of Mongolians to respect and greet. Snuff-bottle is believed to be introduced in Mongolia in 17-18th century. At that time snuff-bottle was popular among dignitaries and autocrats, but it became commonplace among folks in mid of 18th century.


Khoorog is a valuable item in Mongolian history. It represents the history and story of the family it belongs to. The worth increases from time to time depending on its level of material and owner, so the snuff-bottle is usually made of gemstones. There are some facts that the most expensive snuff-bottles are equivalent to prices of Lamborghini or Maybach, some of them even have larger prices.


In the present time, Mongolians stopped using snuff-bottle to greet each other every time they meet each other. However, during the traditional Lunar New Year of Mongolia, the snuff-bottle is used to greet each other and become one of the main topics to discuss their heritage and history.  

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