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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


Prickly Castor-Oil Tree

Eomnamu, or prickly castor-oil tree, particularly its thorny branches, are used in Korean folk religion to chase away evil spirits and illnesses. Kalopanax septemlobus, common name prickly castor-oil tree, is a deciduous tree in the family Araliaceae, which grows around Korea, Japan and China. Its branches are prickly with thorns, believed to scare away evil spirits and diseases, and are hung over gates or room doors in homes at Seol (Lunar New Year). Another related custom is to take malaria pa

Korean Folk Beliefs


Kitchen God

Jowang is a fire god that governs the kitchen and oversees the fortunes of the family and the health and welfare of their descendants. The kitchen is a place where humans can control and use fire for their purposes, where fire is used to cook food and to heat the house. The kitchen is also a space for the women of the house, and thus Jowang is a deity worshipped by the wife in the family or her mother-in-law. The kitchen deity worshipped by the general public is a goddess, referred to as Jowangg

Korean Folk Beliefs


Document of the groom’s horoscopic data

A document containing the would-be groom’s horoscopic data, the hour, day, month, and year of his birth by the lunar calendar, sent to the wouldbe bride’s family. When a m arriage proposal was made, the groom’s family sent to the bride’s family a document containing the information of the birth of the groom and wrapped in a double-layered cloth. In Jeollanam-do Province, the document was accompanied with a few gifts, including enough fabric to make a jacket and skirt for the bride. The document

Korean Rites of Passage


Imsil Pilbong Nongak

Nongak (farmers’ music) handed down in Pilbong-ri, Gangjin-myeon, Imsil in Jeollabuk-do Province. Imsil Pilbong Nongak falls under the geographic category of Honam Jwado Nongak, that is, nongak from the eastern part of the Honam region (jwado, or the left side from the perspective of Seoul). While nongak originating from the same region tends to change over time and place, Imsil Pilbong Nongak carries on the traditions of the main framework of Honam Jwado Nongak. Though based on the regional and

Korean Folk Arts



Of the flags organized for nongak (farmers’ music), the command flag (yeonggi) is deployed at the front of a nongak troupe with the farming flag (nonggi) and leads the way or serves as a messenger. The flag bears the Chinese character 令 (Kor. yeong), meaning “command.” Although yeonggi is mentioned as one of the military flags in the book on strategy “Sokbyeongjangdoseol” (Kor. 속병장도설, Chin. 續兵將圖說, lit. Illustrated Manual of Military Training and Tactics) written in the 18th century, it is not ce

Korean Folk Arts



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