Jungma Nori

Jungma Nori

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer PyoInju(表仁柱)

A game making and riding bamboo horses among boys.

In general, Jungma Nori (bamboo horse riding) is being passed down in regions with many bamboo trees while being used in various ways. The origin of this game is unknown, however the game itself was played not only in Korea, but also in China and Japan. In Korea, the trees were grown mostly in the southern regions and on Jeju Island, where Jungma Nori was played as well.

Jungma Nori is a speed race to reach, and return from, a predetermined point. Since the game uses a bamboo horse, it is also called Daemaltagi (another Korean expression meaning bamboo horse riding), or Jukjok (bamboo feet). Mostly, the game was played on warm spring or cool autumn days. The playgrounds were illuminated alleyways, wide village playgrounds, or hills, and was played by either two people or two teams. Sometimes it was a speed race to reach and return from a goal, while other times it was a survival match that required knocking down opponents. Two types of bamboo horses were used for this game. The first type consists of bamboo sticks with leaves or bamboo brooms. This type of bamboo horse was made at a length that the children could grab the front side with hands, while the backside could be dragged along the ground. Sometimes, the horses were made long enough to carry multiple riders. Children would then pretend to whip these large horses with a stick. The second type is made with two bamboo sticks cut to a similar height as the children with 30 cm long horizontal pedals at points 30 cm high from the lower end. Children would stand on the pedals and walk.

Jungma Nori was not only played as a mere form of entertainment. The game was an important traditional physical training for boys, promoting their physical development, as well as their mental strength and cooperative mindset. In addition, since Jungmagou (childhood friends having enjoyed Jungma Nori together), the popular saying, is derived from Jungma Nori, the game had a significance in terms of linguistic culture as well.

Jungma Nori

Jungma Nori
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer PyoInju(表仁柱)

A game making and riding bamboo horses among boys.

In general, Jungma Nori (bamboo horse riding) is being passed down in regions with many bamboo trees while being used in various ways. The origin of this game is unknown, however the game itself was played not only in Korea, but also in China and Japan. In Korea, the trees were grown mostly in the southern regions and on Jeju Island, where Jungma Nori was played as well.

Jungma Nori is a speed race to reach, and return from, a predetermined point. Since the game uses a bamboo horse, it is also called Daemaltagi (another Korean expression meaning bamboo horse riding), or Jukjok (bamboo feet). Mostly, the game was played on warm spring or cool autumn days. The playgrounds were illuminated alleyways, wide village playgrounds, or hills, and was played by either two people or two teams. Sometimes it was a speed race to reach and return from a goal, while other times it was a survival match that required knocking down opponents. Two types of bamboo horses were used for this game. The first type consists of bamboo sticks with leaves or bamboo brooms. This type of bamboo horse was made at a length that the children could grab the front side with hands, while the backside could be dragged along the ground. Sometimes, the horses were made long enough to carry multiple riders. Children would then pretend to whip these large horses with a stick. The second type is made with two bamboo sticks cut to a similar height as the children with 30 cm long horizontal pedals at points 30 cm high from the lower end. Children would stand on the pedals and walk.

Jungma Nori was not only played as a mere form of entertainment. The game was an important traditional physical training for boys, promoting their physical development, as well as their mental strength and cooperative mindset. In addition, since Jungmagou (childhood friends having enjoyed Jungma Nori together), the popular saying, is derived from Jungma Nori, the game had a significance in terms of linguistic culture as well.