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Bride’s post-wedding journey to the groom’s home

Bride’s journey from her maiden home to the groom’s home, where she will spend the rest of her life, after marriage. The time of a bride’s departure for the groom’s home after marriage varies greatly. Some newly married women spent a year at home before going to live with her in-laws for the rest of her life (which is called muk-sinhaeng or haemugi), while others spend a month (dalmugi) or three days (samil-sinhaeng). When the bride moves to the groom’s home the same day as the wedding it is cal

Korean Rites of Passage


Brother Sister Pagoda

This legend narrates the story of Nammaetap (Brother Sister Pagoda), erected to commemorate a Buddhist monk and a maiden who became sworn siblings and pursued religious discipline until they died on the very same day. According to oral transmission, the protagonist of this legend is Monk Sangwon of late Silla. Sangwon was engaged in religious discipline in a tent put up near the current location of Nammaetap when he happened to meet a maiden, together with whom he practiced religious devotion an

Korean Folk Literature



The legend of Bulgasari narrates the story, from late Goryeo, of a frightening monster that kept growing as it ate up all the metal around. Bulgasari is an imaginary monster, sometimes found painted on folding screens or chimneys due to the folk belief that it provided protection against disasters and fire. The book Songnamjapji (Trivial Learnings by Songnam), from late Joseon, records that “In the final years of Songdo (Goryeo’s capital) lived a monster that ate up all the metal scraps, and peo

Korean Folk Literature



Drumming and dancing performance of the sogo (small hand-held drum) player(s). The name sogo (Kor. 소고, Chin. 小鼓) literally means “small drum, ” but the instrument actually varies in name and size depending on region. These differences arose because such musical instruments were handmade by the villagers themselves in the past. When making sogo, the villagers used the round frame of a sieve, an everyday implement. Leather was rare, so they also used cloth in place of leather. As cloth produces no

Korean Folk Arts



Young children (mostly boys) dressed up as girls or child monks performing acrobatics and various other skills or stunts hoisted on the shoulders of adult performers. Mudongnori was performed by itinerant groups of male entertainers called namdasangpae mostly around Gyeonggi-do Province as an expression of people’s prayers and wishes for longevity and to prevent an epidemic. Hyeomnyulsa, Korea’s first modern indoor theater, had some 80 affiliated members consisting of namsadang members and gisae

Korean Folk Arts


Hemp cloth banner

A hemp cloth hung upon a long bamboo pole and used as a banner carried before a funeral bier at the time of barin (Kor. 발인, Chin. 發靷, departure of the funeral procession from the home to the burial site). Gongpo is made from a piece of loosely woven hemp, measuring 90 centimeters long, and is made by folding and stitching one of the sides to hold a bamboo pole and attaching a pair of tassels. The banner pole, made of bamboo, has a finial at the top. This banner is used to wipe dust or earth off

Korean Rites of Passage



A series of farming procedures mimicked, or acted out, by a group of performers to the accompaniment of nongak (farmers’ music) rhythms. Like entertainment-oriented nongak performances called pangut, nongsapuri is performed by a group to entertain an audience. It developed in a systematic way mostly in the northern part of Gyeonggi-do Province and the Yeongdong region, where nongak itself can be called nongsapuri nongak. In some parts of the Yeongnam region, nongsapuri is included as part of pan

Korean Folk Arts