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Virus Helps Rescue Dying Art

DALANZADGAD, UMNUGOVI PROVINCE, MONGOLIA — Sunlight filters through the window in the corner of Tsetsegdelger Tseveen’s house, where she has set up her studio. Various handicrafts are scattered across her table, including belts and daalin, or snuff bottle pouches, each decorated in elaborate colors, patterns and figures, such as dragons, eagles, lions and tigers.

At 50 years old, Tsetsegdelger has practiced traditional Mongolian embroidery for three decades. In 2017, the Household Services Development Research Association, a prominent nongovernmental organization that works with the garment industry, awarded her the title of master embroiderer, making her the first person in the country to receive this honor.

Producing such intricate work by hand with a needle and thread is laborious and time-consuming. But Tsetsegdelger’s efforts have helped revive the practice of traditional embroidery, an important part of Mongolia’s cultural…

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