Treading the Roof Tiles(踏瓦)

Treading the Roof Tiles

Headword

기와밟기 ( 踏瓦 , Giwa Bapgi )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

Giwa bapgi (Kor. 기와밟기, lit. treading the roof tiles) is a folk game, performed along with the ganggang sulae (Kor. 강강술래, ring dance) in the southwestern regions of Korea or as a separate event in Uiseong and Gunwi (North Gyeongsang Province) and Jeongeup, Imsil and Gochang (North Jeolla Province). Giwa bapgi is always held during the Great Full Moon Festival (the fifteenth of the first lunar month). The custom is also known as jiae bapgi (Kor. 지애밟기), jiwa bapgi (Kor. 지와밟기), jine bapgi (Kor. 지네밟기) and jae bapgi (Kor. 재밟기). All words preceding the word bapgi (stepping) are local dialect variants for giwa (Kor. 기와, Chin. 瓦, lit. roof tiles).

A large group of women position themselves in one row. They bend their backs forward and grab the waist of the person in front in such a way as to form a long human bridge. Next, one woman, referred to as kkotge (Kor. 꽃게) or kokke (Kor. 꼬께), is hoisted onto this human bridge and walks along its length. The word “roof tile,” therefore, stands for the women in the bent position.

Crossing the human bridge is followed by a contest of strength. The women divide into two teams and the strongest member of each team is placed at the front of the line. She is also called kkotge and becomes the “general” leading her team into battle. While the woman selected to be a kkotge during the bridge crossing is usually light in weight, the woman chosen for the fight is normally a more heavy-set and larger woman. She is mounted on top of a pillar that is formed by four women whose arms are interlocked. When the opponent’s team seems to be caught off-guard, the “pillar” seizes the opportunity and rushes forward, carrying their kkotge for a joust with the other kkotge. The team whose kkotge falls off the human pillar, or whose pillar collapses, is declared the loser.

Treading the Roof Tiles

Treading the Roof Tiles
Headword

기와밟기 ( 踏瓦 , Giwa Bapgi )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

Giwa bapgi (Kor. 기와밟기, lit. treading the roof tiles) is a folk game, performed along with the ganggang sulae (Kor. 강강술래, ring dance) in the southwestern regions of Korea or as a separate event in Uiseong and Gunwi (North Gyeongsang Province) and Jeongeup, Imsil and Gochang (North Jeolla Province). Giwa bapgi is always held during the Great Full Moon Festival (the fifteenth of the first lunar month). The custom is also known as jiae bapgi (Kor. 지애밟기), jiwa bapgi (Kor. 지와밟기), jine bapgi (Kor. 지네밟기) and jae bapgi (Kor. 재밟기). All words preceding the word bapgi (stepping) are local dialect variants for giwa (Kor. 기와, Chin. 瓦, lit. roof tiles).

A large group of women position themselves in one row. They bend their backs forward and grab the waist of the person in front in such a way as to form a long human bridge. Next, one woman, referred to as kkotge (Kor. 꽃게) or kokke (Kor. 꼬께), is hoisted onto this human bridge and walks along its length. The word “roof tile,” therefore, stands for the women in the bent position.

Crossing the human bridge is followed by a contest of strength. The women divide into two teams and the strongest member of each team is placed at the front of the line. She is also called kkotge and becomes the “general” leading her team into battle. While the woman selected to be a kkotge during the bridge crossing is usually light in weight, the woman chosen for the fight is normally a more heavy-set and larger woman. She is mounted on top of a pillar that is formed by four women whose arms are interlocked. When the opponent’s team seems to be caught off-guard, the “pillar” seizes the opportunity and rushes forward, carrying their kkotge for a joust with the other kkotge. The team whose kkotge falls off the human pillar, or whose pillar collapses, is declared the loser.