Traditional stone signposts counted in Inner Mongolia

HOHHOT, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has 3,747 Aobao, stone mounds serving as signposts, according to research by an academic institute.
The Inner Mongolia Academy of Social Sciences conducted the country's first investigation of Aobao in the region from July 2014 to August 2015.
Aobao means "heap" in Mongolian. Seventy "distinctive Aobao" were elected based on their age, influence and sacrificial function.
In addition to the types of Aobao already known to researchers, such as Shaman, female, tomb and Mongolia-Han, the investigation identified new types dedicated to books, singers and wrestlers.
Inner Mongolians used to pick up stones and put them in certain places as landmarks on the region's vast grasslands. Ceremonies would also center around certain Aobao.
The Aobao Festival was listed as state-level intangible cultural heritage in 2016.


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