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Busan Nongak

Nongak (farmers’ music) that has been handed down mostly in Amidong, Seo-gu, Busan Busan Nongak is rooted in geollipnongak (nongak performed for fundraising purposes) performed in Gobundori in Seodaesin-dong, Seo-gu, Busan. Gobundori, former name of Seodaesin-dong, was named after a wide field where “pretty” (gobun in Busan dialect) grasses grew as there were no stones or scrubs. Gobundori Nongak had long been passed down along with farming life until it was discontinued during the Japanese colo

Korean Folk Arts


Tightrope Walking

Traditional Korean tightrope-walking performance is referred to as jultagi (Kor. 줄타기) and, in contrast with similar foreign genres, combines acrobatics with dancing, singing, and humor. The tightrope walker exchanges jokes with another member of the troupe who is standing on the ground. The accompanying music is played on string and wind instruments. Jultagi was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in traditional Korea. The performances attracted not only large crowds of common people,

Korean Seasonal Customs


Arrow Throwing

Tuho (Kor. 투호, Chin. 投壺, lit. throwing into a vase) is a game in which players are divided into two teams and throw arrows into a vase placed at a certain distance. The vases into which the arrows are thrown vary both in size and shape. The size of the arrows also differs, and each player is given a set of twelve arrows. Points are earned depending on the proximitiy of the arrow to the center of the vase. The game originated in China prior to the Han dynasty (BCE 206 - CE 220). It is mentioned i

Korean Seasonal Customs



A form of nori (performance, lit. play) in which the buk (barrel drum) players hang their drums on their bodies and dance or make other body movements. Though bungnori, in its simplest form, is the drum accompaniment for songs sung out in the fields during farming, it has developed as an individual performance featured in pangut, the entertainment-based component of nongak. When performing bungnori, the drummer hits not only the leather drum head but the edges as well, which enables wide diversi

Korean Folk Arts


Dukkeobijip Jitgi Nori

A game making cave-shaped houses by placing and patting wet dirt or sand over the back of one hand, and then slowly trying to remove it. Also called, Moraejip Jitgi Nori, this iconic folk game of Korea has children making houses with dirt or sand. First, the player places wet dirt or sand on the back of one hand, and then pats the dirt with the other hand to mold it into a solid structure. The patting takes patience and attention since the hand below dirt needs to be remain still throughout the

Korean Folk Arts


Ganggang Sullae Ring Dance

Ganggang sullae (Kor. 강강술래) is a female-centered ring dance performed on the night of Chuseok (Kor. 추석, Chin. 秋夕, Harvest Festival, the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month). The custom originated in the southwestern part of Korea and is currently observed in most parts of the Korean Peninsula. Arguably the most typical group activity for women, ganggang sullae combines group entertainment with dancing and singing. It is primarily performed outdoors on the night of Chuseok, under the full moon. I

Korean Seasonal Customs


Nat Chigi Nori

A game throwing sickles at trees to hang or stick from a certain distance while cutting a tree and/or grass on a mountainside. Nat Chigi Nori was typically enjoyed by grown children or teenagers. In the past, cutting grass and trees was part of the mundane every life of children in farming or mountain villages. Grass was fed to cows or used to make compost for farming, while trees were used as firewood. As such, cutting grass and trees was an important task in traditional societies. However, thi

Korean Folk Arts