Mongolia is firmly wedged between China and Russia with Kazakhstan also situated close by. Mongolia is not a place that appears regularly in the news and Mongolian culture is an enigma to large parts of the world. It is home to around 3 million people who are known for their itinerant way of living.
History of The Shagai Good Luck Charm
The Shagai good luck charm comes from the ankle bones of goats and sheep; they are used to play games, tell fortunes, and they also symbolize good luck.
Why the Shagai Charm Brings Luck
The Shagai was used as a status symbol; the more Shagais a family had meant they had lots of animals and so the more powerful they were. Their excess Shagais would be offered to the mountains and sky in return for luck, prosperity, and fertility – bringing luck to couples who are trying to start a family.
How to Use the Shagai Charm
The Shagai is always kept in a small pouch and carried with the owner to ensure that luck is ever present. The Shagai is given as a gift to friends to wish them luck and prosperity. When using Shagai to play games it functions as a dice and the way it lands when thrown can represent different animals. Shagai games are a popular past time in Mongolia.
How the Shagai Charm Is Made
Shagais are made by removing the ankle bones from dead sheep and goats, then cleaning them and storing them. The bones are given as good luck charms and used to play games with.
How to Make the Shagai Charm at Home
You can’t specifically make a Shagai at home without removing the ankle bones from a sheep or goat. It may be better to purchase a Shagai or a replica Shagai from online. You can then paint them in bright colors, as is sometimes done in Mongolia, and gift them to your closest friends.
Interesting and Fun Facts About the Shagai Charm
- In some parts of Mongolia, men also collect the ankle bones of wolves as they look like male genitals and are meant to be very lucky.