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Children’s headdress worn for protection against the cold and for ornamental purposes. Gulle were worn by children of upper-class families aged one to five in the late Joseon Dynasty. They are divided into spring and autumn hats and winter hats based on materials and composition. Gulle were decorated with diverse designs such as peonies, lotus blossoms, reishi mushrooms, mountains, waves, tigers, bats, and butterflies. Chinese characters signifying longevity (壽), fortune (福), joy (囍), longevity,

Korean Clothing


Stone Fight

Seokjeon (Kor. 석전, Chin. 石戰, lit. stone fight) was a team game in which two opposing teams threw stones at each other. Prior to the game the villagers divided into two groups and aligned themselves on either side of a street in such a way that the teams faced each other at a distance of several hundred feet. The group whose members retreated first during the fight lost the game. Seokjeon is also known as pyeonjeon (Kor. 편전, Chin. 便戰, 邊戰, lit. team battle), seokjeon nori (Kor. 석전놀이, Chin. 石戰戱, li

Korean Seasonal Customs



An underskirt, or petticoat, of 3-5 layers attached to one waistband that was worn under ceremonial dress to prevent the skirt from sticking to the body and make it spread out wide. Mujigi is the name of a petticoat of 3-5 layers that was worn under ceremonial dress not to create a triangular silhouette but to make the skirt nice and full. It is similar to the garment called seongun (skirts of different lengths attached to the same waistband to make the outer skirt spread out wide), which was w

Korean Clothing


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



Thin belt made of threads twisted together to make a cord (dahoe) that was worn with outer garments such as dopo, jeonbok or changui (scholar’s robe). A type of belt in the category of silk belts (sadae) consisting of a cord made with silken threads, sejodae also had tassels (sul) at either end, and for this reason it was also called sultti. It was worn around the waist and the rank of the wearer was distinguished by the color of the cord. The sejodae was one of the belts, including wondahoe (K

Korean Clothing



Depraved monk appearing in masked dance-dramas. A depraved monk who leads a vulgar life although he is a Buddhist monk and ridicules his teacher, Nojang. Meokjung introduces himself as a Buddhist monk, but his speech and behavior is vulgar. In addition, he enjoys singing and dancing and seduces women while playing the beopgo (Buddhist drum). And when Meokjung finds out the identity of Nojang (old monk), he makes fun of him by likening him to an animal or an object. Such features of the character

Korean Folk Arts


Boat Ritual

Baegosa is a worship ritual to pray for a big catch and safety on a boat. This ritual is held privately by boat owners to worship the boat guardian deity Baeseonang, or as part of communal rituals like pungeoje or dangje. As a private ritual, baegosa is observed on seasonal holidays, among which the biggest is held on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Great Full Moon) on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. It is also held when a new boat has been purchased or constructed; when setting out for a catch;

Korean Folk Beliefs