Funeral bier(喪轝)

Funeral bier

Headword

상여 ( 喪轝 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Sangnye|Jangnye

Writer ParkJongmin(朴鍾珉)

Vehicle used to carry the coffin to the burial place as part of barin, the funeral procession that carries the deceased person to the burial site.

The specific appearance of sangyeo, or the funeral bier, can be confirmed from the daeyeo (Kor. 대여, Chin. 大輿, lit. a large bier used for state funerals) and yugeo (Kor. 유거, Chin. 柳車, lit. a roofed cart) depicted in the “Illustrated Chapter on Biers” (喪轝之圖) of “Jujagarye” (朱子家禮, Family Rituals of Zhu Xi). The sangyeo is a wooden structure covered with cloth and decorated with ornaments; it is a small place for the deceased, or a house. It seems that the funeral bier was conveyed by either attaching wheels (車) to it, or by carrying it on the shoulders (轝).

The major example of using wheels is yugeo, which is a cart with wheels pulled by someone or something in the front. The prime example of a bier that was carried on the shoulders is the daeyeo, used in state funerals for members of the royal family. But various other types of conveyances were used in state funerals, such as the small palanquin called soyeo, which was used when the procession had to pass through tough and narrow paths. The daeyeo is a vehicle used to take a coffin to the burial place by carrying it on the shoulders. Gradually people moved away from wheeled carts in preference for sangyeo carried on the shoulders.

Only those who had the financial means could purchase sangyeo. Recognizing this, community members would organize a gye, a type of traditional private funding method that is popular among Koreans. Each family offers a share of money and the community purchases a sangyeo together. It is stored in a shed built by the community, at a remote place such as the foot of the mountain, and then managed as if communal property. A family in mourning pays fees to use the sangyeo. The community organization that manages the sangyeo collects fees and uses them for maintenance of the funeral bier and the storage shed.

Sangyeo does not simply convey the dead body but also reflects the wealth, social status, filial duties of Confucianism, and personal wishes. Some wealthy families conducted the funeral procession in a luxurious way and created a multi-level sangyeo, which was decorated with various ornaments. Such ornaments express the practical wishes of the deceased and the chief mourner. Thus, the sangyeo served as a means to conduct filial duties from the Confucian perspective as well as family ceremonies.

Funeral bier

Funeral bier
Headword

상여 ( 喪轝 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Sangnye|Jangnye

Writer ParkJongmin(朴鍾珉)

Vehicle used to carry the coffin to the burial place as part of barin, the funeral procession that carries the deceased person to the burial site.

The specific appearance of sangyeo, or the funeral bier, can be confirmed from the daeyeo (Kor. 대여, Chin. 大輿, lit. a large bier used for state funerals) and yugeo (Kor. 유거, Chin. 柳車, lit. a roofed cart) depicted in the “Illustrated Chapter on Biers” (喪轝之圖) of “Jujagarye” (朱子家禮, Family Rituals of Zhu Xi). The sangyeo is a wooden structure covered with cloth and decorated with ornaments; it is a small place for the deceased, or a house. It seems that the funeral bier was conveyed by either attaching wheels (車) to it, or by carrying it on the shoulders (轝).

The major example of using wheels is yugeo, which is a cart with wheels pulled by someone or something in the front. The prime example of a bier that was carried on the shoulders is the daeyeo, used in state funerals for members of the royal family. But various other types of conveyances were used in state funerals, such as the small palanquin called soyeo, which was used when the procession had to pass through tough and narrow paths. The daeyeo is a vehicle used to take a coffin to the burial place by carrying it on the shoulders. Gradually people moved away from wheeled carts in preference for sangyeo carried on the shoulders.

Only those who had the financial means could purchase sangyeo. Recognizing this, community members would organize a gye, a type of traditional private funding method that is popular among Koreans. Each family offers a share of money and the community purchases a sangyeo together. It is stored in a shed built by the community, at a remote place such as the foot of the mountain, and then managed as if communal property. A family in mourning pays fees to use the sangyeo. The community organization that manages the sangyeo collects fees and uses them for maintenance of the funeral bier and the storage shed.

Sangyeo does not simply convey the dead body but also reflects the wealth, social status, filial duties of Confucianism, and personal wishes. Some wealthy families conducted the funeral procession in a luxurious way and created a multi-level sangyeo, which was decorated with various ornaments. Such ornaments express the practical wishes of the deceased and the chief mourner. Thus, the sangyeo served as a means to conduct filial duties from the Confucian perspective as well as family ceremonies.