Geumneung Binnae Nongak
Nongak (farmers’ music) handed down in Gwangcheon-dong, Gaeryeongmyeon, Gimcheon in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
Binnae Nongak was designated Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 8 of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province in December 1984. Binnae is the original name of Gwangcheon-dong. Nongak was performed in the village on the sixth day of the first lunar month when the rite to the village tutelary deity (dongje) was held. Located on low lying land the village frequently suffered from flooding and the bitsingut used to be held to prevent natural disasters and pray for the welfare of the village but this tradition has been discontinued.
When a nongak competition was held August 15, 1949 to mark the anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule, Binnae and Hwangsaegol were chosen to represent Gyeongsangbuk-do. Originally Binnae Nongak was heavily influenced by the nongak performed in Mueul in the Gui region, but under Lee Nam-hun, fifth generation lead small gong player (sangsoe), it has established its own identity. Jeong Jaejin and Lee Gun-seon, who appear at the head of the lineage of Binnae Nongak, are also a part of the lineage of Mueul Nongak. Moreover, Lee Nam-mun, who appears in the Mueul lineage is thought to be the same person as Lee Nam-hun of Binnae. He is said to have studied nongak in Mueul and later settled in Binnae. Sixth generation sangsoe Kim Hongyeop played a particularly important role in the designation of Binnae Nongak as intangible cultural heritage.
Binnae Nongak includes musicians playing the soe (small gong), jing (large gong), janggu (hourglass-shaped drum), daebuk (large drum), and sogo (hand-held drum) and actors playing the roles of scholar-official (sadaebu), bride, and hunter. The daebuk player wears a white peaked hat, while the scholar-official wears a head scarf marked with the Chinese
characters “士大夫, ” reading sadaebu (Kor. 사대부, Chin. 士大夫, lit. great scholar) and carries a tobacco pipe and fan. The bride wears a black skirt and white jacket, and the hunter has a blackened face. The troupe also includes flag bearers carrying the command flag (yeonggi) and the farming flag (nonggi). They are dressed in white pants with puttees and white jacket with a vest on top and a tri-colored sash. The soe, janggu and sogo players wear a jeollip on the head while the buk player wears a peaked hat decorated with white flowers. The performance proceeds in order of jilgut, jeongjeogut, banjukgut, dadeuraegi, yeongpunggut, heoheogut, pumasigut, pangut, yeonsangut, chaegut, jingut and gutgeori. The Binnae Nongak pangut (entertainment-based performance of nongak) proceeds in the order of jilgut, mungut, madanggut, banjukgut, dadeuraegi, yeongpunggut, heoheogut, gireogigut, pangut, chaegut, jingut, and jisingut. The pangut performance as a whole proceeds as described in the following. The ipjanggut and insagut (entry and greeting) and toejanggut (exit) were added for competition purposes.
Golmaegigut is a rhythm that is played when the whole troupe dances on its way to a particular destination. In Binnae village, this means jisinbapgi (treading on the earth gods) is carried out at every house in the village to pray for the peace and welfare of the village. Here golmaegi refers to the village tutelary deity, and this rhythm is played when the nongak troupe is on the move from one village to the next or from one rice paddy to another, dancing merrily along the way.
Ipjanggut is when the whole troupe enters the performance space to start the pangut. With the powerful movements of Gyeongsang-do they walk in briskly to the jajinmori rhythm. The sangsoe makes the eulshaped (乙) formation as he leaves and with each change in direction the musicians perform two rounds of yeonpungdae (a series of rapid turns moving in a circle in the counterclockwise direction, facing the outside with the upper body bent forward) one by one, each person starting just before the person in front finishes. It is important to maintain a distance from the person in front. The right foot is put forward on the first beat, going forward like marching soldiers.
Insagut is the part when the troupe greets the audience to inform them that a performance is to be held. In circle formation, when the sangsoe plays the signal rhythm, the other musicians all strike their instruments once as they turn 90° to the right in the direction of the audience. When the sangsoe plays the signal rhythm again, they strike their instruments once and return to their original position.
In the mungut (jeongjeokgungi) the troupe tidy up their lines and playing the jeongjeokgungi rhythm they form a circle and begin a series of folk performances and entertainments (nori). After the sangsoe gives the signal to all members of the troupe they rush toward the lead buk player like soldiers going out to battle, powerfully striking their instruments. When the sangsoe gives the signal, the troupe make a circle again and when the sangsoe begins to play the yeonpungdae rhythm they perform six circuits of yeonpungdae (a series of rapid turns moving in a circle in the counterclockwise direction, facing the outside with the upper body bent forward) to the beat, followed by two circuits of anjeulsang (spinning their hat streamers while turning to the left and squatting and rising again) and four circuits of banjaban (small sideways flips).
Madanggut shows the nongak troupe doing their drills to the rapid rhythms played by the sangsoe and jongsoe (third small gong player), who walk around and direct the training session. Banjukgut is when the troupe acts out movements of surrounding the enemy and releasing them, then attacking and retreating. The performance consists of two kinds of movement. To the signal of a certain rhythm, odd numbers step inside the circle and even numbers outside to create a zigzag shape. The second way in which this movement is made is to surround the enemy, close in on them tightly then at the first and third beats jumping high in the air off the right foot making big bodily movements. While two banjukgut rhythms are played the whole troupe moves to the inner side. Playing two more rhythms they all move out again. As the sangsoe gives the signal he changes place with the second small gong player and all the performers make one big circle and begin a series of small sideways flips when directed by the sangsoe. Pumasi is the movement showing the general receiving a report from one of his soldiers, and takes the form of a skit showing the general training his men.
Yeongpunggut signifies military training. The soe (kkwaenggwari) players play inside the circle and when the sangsoe gives the signal some move forward, others in the opposite direction and others return to their places. When they finish, the rhythm changes and they start doing the yeonpungdae movement and to the beat of the gong they sit and stand up again repeatedly to show off their high spirits. When the gongs stop playing the buk and janggu strike up. The gong players put down their instruments, divide into pairs and facing each other slap each other’s palms in a test of balance or grab their sashes for the gireogi dance.
In the panandadeuraegi/sorigut, when the pumassi is over the rhythm changes and the troupe do the yeonpungdae movement. To the rhythm of the gong they sit down and stand up again repeatedly to show off their high spirits. When the gongs stop playing, the buk and janggu strike up. The gong players put down their instruments, divide into pairs and facing each other slap each other’s palms in a test of balance or grab their sashes for the gireogi dance. This being a sorigut also, the lead gong player and second gong player sing as they play matching rhythms, then all the performers (or farmers) play their instruments with glee, ensuring that their instruments and other equipment are in good order.
In the gireogigut (sojjeokgut) the musicians spread their arms out wide in imitation of geese and dance loosely on the spot. Sojjeokgut refers to the lead gong player and third gong player going into the center, while taking turns in striking the rhythms, then turning once and beginning their individual performances. With arms and legs spread wide like geese they start to run sideways. The movements are large and free and easy. They run holding blue and yellow cloth in their hands.
In the heoheogut, the sangsoe and other musicians exchange signals to check that everything is in good order. When the sangsoe plays the heoheogut rhythm and shouts “heo heo” everyone in the troupe answers “heo heo” to tell him that nothing is wrong. The soe players go to the middle of the circle and play their gongs. When the sangsoe gives the signal again they play the jajinmori rhythm and return to the original circle. When the rhythm ends, they stop playing their instruments and shout “heo heo heo” as they walk forward. In the ssangdungigut (lit. twin rite) the musicians playing in the circle divide into pairs at the signal of the sangsoe and make two smaller circles and dance.
The pangut (chaegut, jaetbuk) is a series of performances by different sets of musicians. The troupe divides into two sides and stand at either end of the performance space while the soe players, buk players, janggu players and sogo players take turns coming into the center and showing off their skills.
When the sangsoe plays the chaegut rhythm the sogo players stand in one line and play, and when he plays the jaetbuk rhythm a number of the sogo players come into the center and dance loosely and clap their hands as the rhythm grows faster.
Yangsandadeuraegi symbolizes a fierce military battle. The sogo players and other musicians divide into two sides and stand in two lines that repeatedly push each other back and fro. In the jingut, the lead soe player and the third soe player head two sides and form military camps as they play and act out the process of fighting a fierce battle, surrounding and destroying the enemy. When the sangsoe dissolves the formation all the musicians cheer and dance and celebrate their victory.
Sangsagut is when the troupe disperses after the performances and celebrations have ended and everyone is in good spirits. All the performers dance to a slow rhythm.. When the sangsoe shouts “eollullu sangsaduiya” the musicians echo him and return to their places.
This part of the performance is a celebration where everyone plays and dances, elated with victory in battle.
Then as in the beginning the troupe performs the insagut, or greeting. Then the lead soe player and second soe player head two sides, the sogo players and the other musicians, to make two lines and exit. A marching rhythm is played and they stand at the entrance, where they play jeongjeogut. Then they play the fast and powerful dadeuraegi and ichae rhythms and bring the performance to an end. Finally they give a cheer and throw their drumsticks and gong sticks into the air.
The characteristics of Geumneung Binnae Nongak are that its origins are related to the bisingut to ward of water related disasters; that it has been handed down in the form of jingut, or a series of choreographed line formations; that it has a clear sangsoe lineage; that the rhythms are strong and powerful; and that performances with regional color are highlighted such as daebuk (large drum) dance, the gireogi dance and the hand clapping dance.