Bossaum

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer LeeSangho(李相昊)

A game competing to make a dam in a creek and crush the opponent’s dam by making it burst.

Bossaum is also referred to as, Dam Wrecking. The dam is a bank for the irrigation of paddies or the blockage of a stream. In the past, there were no largescale reservoirs, resulting in an inadequate supply of water for rice farming, pushing farmers to depend greatly upon precipitation. When it was raining, people ran to their paddies with a shovel to open or close the irrigation gate and adjust the volume of the water. Also, to ensure a stable water supply, a puddle was created near paddies to store water, or a stream was blocked with a dam. No single person could stop a running stream and build a dam, requiring those who needed water stored by the dam to join forces.

Children observed and started to mimic the actions of adults by creating and demolishing their own small dams. As they felt excitement in doing so, the mimicry evolved into a game as described below.

First, the players are divided into two teams and decide which team will create a dam on which side, upstream or downstream. After choosing the location, players use everything around them, including stones, dirt, straw, grass, and roots to construct a sturdy dam. Also, they have to take the volume and the flow of the water into account in order to determine the thickness of the dam to ensure its durability. At the top of the dam, if players block the water entirely, an excessive amount of water will store up and topple over the entire construction. Therefore, a small amount of water should be allowed to flow out and over. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the dam, players should make sure to drain all the water and dig the ground as deep and large as possible. Once the dam is almost finished, the flowing water at the top should be completely blocked. The bottom part should also be solidified after checking that there is no more water coming through. After preparations are complete, the game is ready to commence. When a certain amount of water collects, the upstream team asks the downstream team whether they are ready. If the downstream team is ready, the upstream team starts to deconstruct their dam as much as possible so that the stored water will flush out and break the damn located downstream. Meanwhile, the downstream team should reinforce their dam to prevent it from collapse, however, if they are not successful in doing so, the upstream team wins. If they are successful, the downstream team wins. Once the round is complete, they switch their locations to continue on to the next round.

Players from both teams do not have time to rest. All of the work, including constructing the dam, collecting stones, and digging into the ground, require participation from all players.

Naturally, the players focus in on their role and develop a sense of teamwork. During the process, they work voluntarily, rather than through the direction of others, as they independently navigate the relationships between the depth, extent, and strength of the water, as well as the thickness and width of the dam. In this way, they get to understand the nature of water, despite the learning experience not being necessarily systemic or logical. When pesticides were not in use, many creatures lived within small creeks, including numerous kinds of fish, river crabs, and crawfish. While playing the game, the players would spontaneously catch a few and use them for a meal. Unfortunately, upon the growing widespread use of pesticides in the modern day, these creatures have all but disappeared.

Bossaum

Bossaum
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer LeeSangho(李相昊)

A game competing to make a dam in a creek and crush the opponent’s dam by making it burst. Bossaum is also referred to as, Dam Wrecking. The dam is a bank for the irrigation of paddies or the blockage of a stream. In the past, there were no largescale reservoirs, resulting in an inadequate supply of water for rice farming, pushing farmers to depend greatly upon precipitation. When it was raining, people ran to their paddies with a shovel to open or close the irrigation gate and adjust the volume of the water. Also, to ensure a stable water supply, a puddle was created near paddies to store water, or a stream was blocked with a dam. No single person could stop a running stream and build a dam, requiring those who needed water stored by the dam to join forces. Children observed and started to mimic the actions of adults by creating and demolishing their own small dams. As they felt excitement in doing so, the mimicry evolved into a game as described below. First, the players are divided into two teams and decide which team will create a dam on which side, upstream or downstream. After choosing the location, players use everything around them, including stones, dirt, straw, grass, and roots to construct a sturdy dam. Also, they have to take the volume and the flow of the water into account in order to determine the thickness of the dam to ensure its durability. At the top of the dam, if players block the water entirely, an excessive amount of water will store up and topple over the entire construction. Therefore, a small amount of water should be allowed to flow out and over. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the dam, players should make sure to drain all the water and dig the ground as deep and large as possible. Once the dam is almost finished, the flowing water at the top should be completely blocked. The bottom part should also be solidified after checking that there is no more water coming through. After preparations are complete, the game is ready to commence. When a certain amount of water collects, the upstream team asks the downstream team whether they are ready. If the downstream team is ready, the upstream team starts to deconstruct their dam as much as possible so that the stored water will flush out and break the damn located downstream. Meanwhile, the downstream team should reinforce their dam to prevent it from collapse, however, if they are not successful in doing so, the upstream team wins. If they are successful, the downstream team wins. Once the round is complete, they switch their locations to continue on to the next round. Players from both teams do not have time to rest. All of the work, including constructing the dam, collecting stones, and digging into the ground, require participation from all players. Naturally, the players focus in on their role and develop a sense of teamwork. During the process, they work voluntarily, rather than through the direction of others, as they independently navigate the relationships between the depth, extent, and strength of the water, as well as the thickness and width of the dam. In this way, they get to understand the nature of water, despite the learning experience not being necessarily systemic or logical. When pesticides were not in use, many creatures lived within small creeks, including numerous kinds of fish, river crabs, and crawfish. While playing the game, the players would spontaneously catch a few and use them for a meal. Unfortunately, upon the growing widespread use of pesticides in the modern day, these creatures have all but disappeared.