Nongsapuri(农事普里)

Headword

농사풀이 ( 农事普里 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts

Writer SiJieun(施知恩)

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 pangut, but in this case it cannot be seen as nongsapuri nongak. Unlike the Gyeonggi-do and Yeongdong regions where nongsapuri accounts for a major portion of a nongak performance, in the Yeongnam region it is simply incorporated into the drumming and dancing act of the beopgojaebi, the musicians playing the a small drum known as the dharma drum (beopgo). In most cases it is the musicians playing the sogo, a small hand-held drum, that perform nongsapuri but in some cases they are joined by the beopgo players and child performers (mudong).

In addition to nongsapuri in the form of acting out farming procedures, the same term is also applied to a song that is part of gosasori, the songs sung at gosa rites to bless the home or a new project, as well as a shaman song performed in Jeollanam-do Province. Various kinds of songs for gosa rites, including sansepuri, salpuri, and dalgeori, are performed at the New Year while the nongak troupe carries out the rite of treading on the earth gods (jisinbapgi). In Gyeonggi-do, Gangwondo and Chungcheong-do provinces, nongsapuri is also included in the songs for gosa rites. The song generally expresses the happiness of harvesting a thousand sacks or ten thousands sacks of grains after sowing all kinds of seeds.

The regional versions of nongak best known for their nongsapuri are Yangju Nongak of Gyeonggi-do and Gangneung Nongak of Gangwondo. In these two provinces nongsapuri not only features as many as 15 farming procedures, from preparation of the fields to harvesting and threshing, but also mimed movements that are detailed and realistic.

The Yangju Nongak troupe is composed of percussion musicians (chibae) playing the small gong (kkwaenggwari), cymbals (jegeum), large gong (jing), hourglass-shaped drum (janggu), barrel drum (buk), dharma drum (beopgo), double-reed oboe (taepyeongso), actors (japsaek), child performers (mudong), and flag bearers (gisu). All the percussionists are dressed in white pants and top, a tri-colored sash, and a peaked hat. The performance is largely composed of the street parade (gilnori) and entrance, nongsapuri, and closing. In the entrance part, the performers enter the venue and split up to stand on the left and right sides, and in nongsapuri they act out 18 farming procedures. In the closing, the performers, who were divided left and right, come together and form a circle where they all play music and dance before making their exit.

The sequence of the 18 farming procedures that are acted out is the same as the sequence for actual farming, listed as follows:

  1. Treading on the barley fields
    The beopgo players stand in a single row, move forward and stamp on the barley fields.
  2. Fertilizing the barley fields
    The sogo players, taking their drums as fertilizer containers, spread fertilizer on the fields.
  3. Preparing the seed beds
    The sogo players, taking their drums as a spade, prepare the seed beds.
  4. Plowing the rice paddies
    The beopgo players become farmers plowing the rice paddies.
  5. Harrowing the rice paddies
    The beopgo players become farmers harrowing the rice paddies.
  6. Making the seed beds
    The performers flatten down the seed beds.
  7. Sowing the rice seeds
    The sogo players, their drums at their sides for rice seed containers, sow the rice seeds.
  8. Intercropping
    The performers plant crops between the levees and on other spare bits of land.
  9. Planting beans
    The sogo players, their drums at their sides for bean seed containers, sow beans.
  10. Picking rice seedlings
    The performers pick rice seedlings, shake the soil from them, bundle them and throw them on the ground.
  11. Transplanting rice seedlings
    The performers stand in a row along the guideline and transplant rice seedlings.
  12. Weeding the rice paddies
    The sogo players, taking their drum handles as hoes, pull weeds out of the rice paddies.
  13. Making and stacking compost
    Using their drum handles as scythes, the sogo players cut and stack compost.
  14. Cutting the rice stalks
    Using their drum handles as scythes, the sogo players bend their backs and cut the rice plants:
  15. Carrying the rice plants
    The beopgo players take the roles of farmers and oxen and load the harvested rice plants to be carried away.
  16. Threshing
    The performers use flails or run stalks through threshing machines.
  17. Winnowing
    Using a bamboo winnow or wide shovel, the performers separate the chaff and empty ears of grain from the grains by throwing the mixture in the air.
  18. Building the storehouse
    The beopgo players stand in a circle and hook one leg around the next person’s leg to form a storehouse while the other members of the nongak troupe carry rice sacks inside.

The Gangneung Nongak troupe is composed of percussion musicians playing the small gong, large gong, hourglass-shaped drum, barrel drum, dharma drum, double-reed oboe (taepyeongso), as well as child performers and flag bearers. Except for the child performers, everyone is dressed in white pants and top with a sash of three colors-blue, red and yellowover the costume. The small gong, large gong, hourglass-shaped drum, barrel drum and small drum players all wear beonggeoji (hat with rounded top and brim) with a long paper streamer attached. The sogo players wear plain hats with no paper streamer, while the child performers wear peaked hats. Nongsapuri originating in Gangneung consists of 13 procedures with the different roles played by the sogo players, beopgo players and mudong (child performers). The sequence of mimed procedures is as follows:

  1. Plowing the fields
    The beopgo players at the front take the role of oxen and the sogo players at the back the farmers and together they plow the fields.
  2. Leveling the seed beds
    The mudong stand in a row, bend over then move backwards as they press down on the seed beds.
  3. Sowing the rice seeds
    The sogo players stand in pairs face to face and sow the seeds using their drums as a basket.
  4. Pulling rice seedlings
    When the sogo players and beopgo players sit and pull up the seedlings, the mudong follow behind and carry the seedlings to the rice paddies.
  5. Transplanting rice seedlings
    The sogo players and beopgo players plant the seedlings bent over and moving backwards, while the mudong carry the seedlings to them.
  6. Planting beans
    The mudong bend over planting the beans and covering them with soil with their feet.
  7. Weeding the paddies
    The sogo players, beopgo players and mudong pick the weeds while the lead gong player (sangsoe) stands in the center and sings the weeding song.
  8. Sharpening sickles
    The sogo players and beopgo players sit down and sharpen their sickles, then test them out.
  9. Cutting the rice stalks
    The sogo players and beopgo players bend over and cut the stalks and the mudong carry them away.
  10. Stacking the sheaves (byeogwangigi)
    The mudong bend over pretending to be sheaves of rice and the lead gong player comes along, stands the sheaves upright and shouts “ten thousand sacks.”
  11. Rice threshing
    The sogo players beat the grain while the beopgo players thresh the grain using a flail.
  12. Gathering the rice
    The mudong sit in the center while the sogo players and beopgo players work their way toward them using a spade to gather the rice together.
  13. Milling the rice
    The sogo players make the mill frame and handle while the beopgo players lie on top and the mudong step on the treadmill bridge. At their side other mudong winnow the grains with a winnowing basket (ki).

The nongsapuri performed in the Gyeonggi-do and Yeongnam regions, where it is well developed, and the nongspuri performed in the Yeongnam region are characterized by the mimed procedures of growing rice through the rice seedling plantation method, which involves sowing the seeds in seed beds and transplanting the seedlings in the paddies. While this method yields a much greater volume of rice than the direct seeding method, it calls for intensive communal labor. It can be assumed that nongsapuri developed along with the introduction of the transplantation method.

Another important characteristic is that nongsapuri is generally performed by the sogo players, who wear either a peaked hat or hat with streamer attached. Compared to the other musicians in the nongak troupe, their hands are relatively free and they focus on body movements rather than playing their instruments. Though less showy than nongak purely for entertainment, nongsapuri reflects many various aspects of nongak as a mass performance in the use of the sogo and its handle and the skilled, unified movements in every scene.

Nongsapuri

Nongsapuri
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts

Writer SiJieun(施知恩)

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 pangut, but in this case it cannot be seen as nongsapuri nongak. Unlike the Gyeonggi-do and Yeongdong regions where nongsapuri accounts for a major portion of a nongak performance, in the Yeongnam region it is simply incorporated into the drumming and dancing act of the beopgojaebi, the musicians playing the a small drum known as the dharma drum (beopgo). In most cases it is the musicians playing the sogo, a small hand-held drum, that perform nongsapuri but in some cases they are joined by the beopgo players and child performers (mudong). In addition to nongsapuri in the form of acting out farming procedures, the same term is also applied to a song that is part of gosasori, the songs sung at gosa rites to bless the home or a new project, as well as a shaman song performed in Jeollanam-do Province. Various kinds of songs for gosa rites, including sansepuri, salpuri, and dalgeori, are performed at the New Year while the nongak troupe carries out the rite of treading on the earth gods (jisinbapgi). In Gyeonggi-do, Gangwondo and Chungcheong-do provinces, nongsapuri is also included in the songs for gosa rites. The song generally expresses the happiness of harvesting a thousand sacks or ten thousands sacks of grains after sowing all kinds of seeds. The regional versions of nongak best known for their nongsapuri are Yangju Nongak of Gyeonggi-do and Gangneung Nongak of Gangwondo. In these two provinces nongsapuri not only features as many as 15 farming procedures, from preparation of the fields to harvesting and threshing, but also mimed movements that are detailed and realistic. The Yangju Nongak troupe is composed of percussion musicians (chibae) playing the small gong (kkwaenggwari), cymbals (jegeum), large gong (jing), hourglass-shaped drum (janggu), barrel drum (buk), dharma drum (beopgo), double-reed oboe (taepyeongso), actors (japsaek), child performers (mudong), and flag bearers (gisu). All the percussionists are dressed in white pants and top, a tri-colored sash, and a peaked hat. The performance is largely composed of the street parade (gilnori) and entrance, nongsapuri, and closing. In the entrance part, the performers enter the venue and split up to stand on the left and right sides, and in nongsapuri they act out 18 farming procedures. In the closing, the performers, who were divided left and right, come together and form a circle where they all play music and dance before making their exit. The sequence of the 18 farming procedures that are acted out is the same as the sequence for actual farming, listed as follows: Treading on the barley fieldsThe beopgo players stand in a single row, move forward and stamp on the barley fields. Fertilizing the barley fieldsThe sogo players, taking their drums as fertilizer containers, spread fertilizer on the fields. Preparing the seed bedsThe sogo players, taking their drums as a spade, prepare the seed beds. Plowing the rice paddiesThe beopgo players become farmers plowing the rice paddies. Harrowing the rice paddiesThe beopgo players become farmers harrowing the rice paddies. Making the seed bedsThe performers flatten down the seed beds. Sowing the rice seedsThe sogo players, their drums at their sides for rice seed containers, sow the rice seeds. IntercroppingThe performers plant crops between the levees and on other spare bits of land. Planting beansThe sogo players, their drums at their sides for bean seed containers, sow beans. Picking rice seedlingsThe performers pick rice seedlings, shake the soil from them, bundle them and throw them on the ground. Transplanting rice seedlingsThe performers stand in a row along the guideline and transplant rice seedlings. Weeding the rice paddiesThe sogo players, taking their drum handles as hoes, pull weeds out of the rice paddies. Making and stacking compostUsing their drum handles as scythes, the sogo players cut and stack compost. Cutting the rice stalksUsing their drum handles as scythes, the sogo players bend their backs and cut the rice plants: Carrying the rice plantsThe beopgo players take the roles of farmers and oxen and load the harvested rice plants to be carried away. ThreshingThe performers use flails or run stalks through threshing machines. WinnowingUsing a bamboo winnow or wide shovel, the performers separate the chaff and empty ears of grain from the grains by throwing the mixture in the air. Building the storehouseThe beopgo players stand in a circle and hook one leg around the next person’s leg to form a storehouse while the other members of the nongak troupe carry rice sacks inside. The Gangneung Nongak troupe is composed of percussion musicians playing the small gong, large gong, hourglass-shaped drum, barrel drum, dharma drum, double-reed oboe (taepyeongso), as well as child performers and flag bearers. Except for the child performers, everyone is dressed in white pants and top with a sash of three colors-blue, red and yellowover the costume. The small gong, large gong, hourglass-shaped drum, barrel drum and small drum players all wear beonggeoji (hat with rounded top and brim) with a long paper streamer attached. The sogo players wear plain hats with no paper streamer, while the child performers wear peaked hats. Nongsapuri originating in Gangneung consists of 13 procedures with the different roles played by the sogo players, beopgo players and mudong (child performers). The sequence of mimed procedures is as follows: Plowing the fieldsThe beopgo players at the front take the role of oxen and the sogo players at the back the farmers and together they plow the fields. Leveling the seed bedsThe mudong stand in a row, bend over then move backwards as they press down on the seed beds. Sowing the rice seedsThe sogo players stand in pairs face to face and sow the seeds using their drums as a basket. Pulling rice seedlingsWhen the sogo players and beopgo players sit and pull up the seedlings, the mudong follow behind and carry the seedlings to the rice paddies. Transplanting rice seedlingsThe sogo players and beopgo players plant the seedlings bent over and moving backwards, while the mudong carry the seedlings to them. Planting beansThe mudong bend over planting the beans and covering them with soil with their feet. Weeding the paddiesThe sogo players, beopgo players and mudong pick the weeds while the lead gong player (sangsoe) stands in the center and sings the weeding song. Sharpening sicklesThe sogo players and beopgo players sit down and sharpen their sickles, then test them out. Cutting the rice stalksThe sogo players and beopgo players bend over and cut the stalks and the mudong carry them away. Stacking the sheaves (byeogwangigi)The mudong bend over pretending to be sheaves of rice and the lead gong player comes along, stands the sheaves upright and shouts “ten thousand sacks.” Rice threshingThe sogo players beat the grain while the beopgo players thresh the grain using a flail. Gathering the riceThe mudong sit in the center while the sogo players and beopgo players work their way toward them using a spade to gather the rice together. Milling the riceThe sogo players make the mill frame and handle while the beopgo players lie on top and the mudong step on the treadmill bridge. At their side other mudong winnow the grains with a winnowing basket (ki). The nongsapuri performed in the Gyeonggi-do and Yeongnam regions, where it is well developed, and the nongspuri performed in the Yeongnam region are characterized by the mimed procedures of growing rice through the rice seedling plantation method, which involves sowing the seeds in seed beds and transplanting the seedlings in the paddies. While this method yields a much greater volume of rice than the direct seeding method, it calls for intensive communal labor. It can be assumed that nongsapuri developed along with the introduction of the transplantation method. Another important characteristic is that nongsapuri is generally performed by the sogo players, who wear either a peaked hat or hat with streamer attached. Compared to the other musicians in the nongak troupe, their hands are relatively free and they focus on body movements rather than playing their instruments. Though less showy than nongak purely for entertainment, nongsapuri reflects many various aspects of nongak as a mass performance in the use of the sogo and its handle and the skilled, unified movements in every scene.