These are the field diaries kept by the team of Russian merchant-explorers who traveled widely through northwest Mongolia in the summer of 1910. The expedition had been organized and funded by a group of Moscow merchants investigating opportunities for exporting goods to Mongolia in competition with Chinese domination of the local and regional market systems. The Russians were also charged with locating new sources of raw materials for Russian manufactures and verifying the northwest frontier line between the Chinese and Russian empires.
Offering unparalleled insights into the economic ties between China, Russia, and Mongolia in the early twentieth century, the expedition also reports perspectives not offered by other travel narratives of the era. Whether stopping for tea at a Mongolian herder’s tent, witnessing Buddhist celebrations in the Mongolian capital city of Urga, or traversing the wild rapids of Mongolia’s rivers, the Russian travelers offer vivid portraits of everyday life in Mongolia a decade before revolution altered the Mongolian political and cultural landscape forever.
The text is accompanied by many of the original expedition photographs and an historical introduction to Mongolia’s long history of relations with Russia and China.