mongol art gallery berlin germany'ZURAG' film original  in German 2010 Berlin

'ZURAG' film in the Mongolian national television, 2011 Ulan Bator
(Original record from the MNB broadcast)
The Secret History of the Mongols
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Deutsch - Zweites Kapitel: Tschingis Chaans Jugend
English - 
Second Chapter: Genghis Khan's Youth



Kurultai (Mongolian: Хуралдай, Kazakh: Құрылтай (Qurıltay); Tatar: Qorıltay; Bashkir: Ҡоролтай (Qoroltay); Azerbaijani: Qurultay; Turkish: Kurultay; Turkmen: Gurultaý, ) is a political and military council of ancient Mongol and Turkic chiefs and khans. The root of the word "Kural" or "Khural" means political "meeting" or "assembly" in the Mongolian language and having also these meanings in the Turkish language it is also a verb for "to be established". Kurultai is a little older variation of the word compared to the Mongolian language as of today, while it is still used in a very similar sense in modern Turkish.

In the Mongol Empire
All Great Khans of the Mongol Empire, for example Genghis Khan and Ogedei Khan, were formally elected in a Kurultai; khans of subordinate Mongol states, such as the Golden Horde, were elected by a similar regional Kurultai. After the new khan has been elected, an elaborate enthronement procedure followed. Johann Schiltberger, a 15th-century German traveler, described the installation of a new Golden Horde khan as follows.
"When they choose a king, they take him and seat him on white felt, and raise him in it three times. Then they lift him up and carry him round the tent, and seat him on a throne, and put a golden sword in his hand. Then he must be sworn as is the custom."

The ritual of carrying the new khan on the felt was known in a Turkic language as khan kutermiak (cognate to Turkish verb götürmek).
Russian princes and boyars, who often had to wait in Sarai for the Kurultai to elect a new khan, who would then re-issue their yarlyks (patents), would no doubt often witness this khan kutermiak rituals, which became increasingly more frequent and futile during the mid-14th century time of troubles in the Horde, giving rise to the Russian word "кутерьма" (kuter'ma), meaning "running around pointlessly".

Kurultai were imperial and tribal assemblies convened to determine, strategize and analyze military campaigns and assign individuals to leadership positions and titles. One such example is Genghis Khan was declared Khan in the 1206 kurultai. Most of the major military campaigns were first planned out at assemblies such as this and there were minor and less significant Kurultais under the Mongol Empire under political subordinate leaders and generals.
The kurultai, however, required the presence of the senior members of the tribes participating, who were also in charge militarily. Thus, the deaths of Ögedei and Möngke in 1241 and 1259, respectively, necessitated the withdrawal of Mongol leaders (and troops) from the outskirts of Vienna and Venice (in 1241) and from Syria (in 1259), hamstringing military operations against the Austrians and Mamluks that might otherwise have continued.

Modern usage
Various modern Mongolian and Turkic peoples use it in the political or administrative sense, as a synonym for parliament, congress, conference, council, assembly, convention, gathering. Examples are: World Qoroltay of the Bashkirs, Fourth Qurultay of Crimean Tatars, National Kurultai of Kyrgyzstan, the State Great Khural of Mongolia, Buryatian People's Khural.
The word has several modern usages in the modern Turkish language as well: "Yüksek Öğretim Kurulu"(Higher Education Counsel), "genel kurul toplantısı" (general board meeting), ". "Kurultay" is also a highly used word in modern Turkish meaning general assembly, such as that of organisations, commitees etc. "Kurul" is also a verb in Turkish meaning to be established.
Also spelled as: kurultay, qurultay, qurıltai, qorıltay, and qoroltay.

Text from Wikipedia