The Mongol American Cultural Association (MACA) was established in October of 1988 by the late Gombojab Hangin, a former professor of Indiana University, and the late Tsorj Lama, the former Abbot of the Qorgho Monastery in Western Sunid, Southern Mongolia. Along with founding members Lobsang Khiyod, Sanj Altan, Tsagaan Baatar, Chinggeltu Borjiged, Palgi Gyamcho, Amursana Khiyod and Toghtoch Gyamcho, the fledgling organization dedicated itself to the preservation and promotion of the unique history and culture of all Mongols, including those from Mongolia and other traditionally Mongol-inhabited regions, such as Buryatia, Kalmykia, Tuva, and the Mongol regions of China.
Under the guidance of Professor Gombojab Hangin and Tsorj Lama, one of MACA’s first activities as an organization in its founding year was to begin the annual performance of the Chinggis Khan Ceremony. The preservation of the traditional ritual memorializing the great legacy of Chinggis Khan was a major priority for the organization, as it brought together Mongols and non-Mongols alike, from all over the United States. Unfortunately, MACA suffered a great loss early on in its existence with the passing of Professor Gombojab Hangin in 1989 and Tsorj Lama in 1991. One of Tsorj Lama’s final requests for his students was to have MACA continue the annual ceremony into the future. His physical assets became the core funds from which MACA drew upon for many years to carry on in both of their founders’ memories.
The association was incorporated as a 501C3 non-profit organization in 1992. MACA began to do a significant amount of humanitarian work, supporting the Peace Corps’ English language programs in Mongolia and donating $10,000 worth of insulin to Mongolia in 1994. In 1995, MACA formed the Mongolian Children’s Aid and Development Fund (MCADF), under the able leadership of Tony Ettinger and with the former Secretary of State James Baker as honorary director. MCADF focused on fund raising and aiding Mongolian children through donations of clothing, educational materials and stipends and continues to carry out its humanitarian mission to this day. MACA also continued to further its cultural objectives, with the first publication of its newsletter the Mongol Tolbo in 1993. The newsletter was printed as a way of informing readers of current events in both the local and the global Mongol community, as well as providing a venue to disseminate cultural and historical information.
Since the establishment of MACA, the organization has sought to strengthen ties among the growing Mongol American community by encouraging the understanding and acceptance of all Mongols in an effort to preserve the culture and history of a widely diverse people in an ever-changing world. It continues to further its mission through its annual Chinggis Khan Ceremony performances, its publication of the Mongol Tolbo, and its humanitarian efforts. MACA welcomes all individuals who are interested in advancing its mission.