Namsadang Show(男寺黨-)

Namsadang Show

Headword

남사당놀이 ( 男寺黨- , Namsadang Nori )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Autumn > 9th Lunar month > Game

Writer JeonKyungwook(田耕旭)

Namsadang nori (Kor. 남사당놀이, Chin. 男寺黨-, lit. Namsadang play) refers to shows which were performed by troupes of male entertainers, or namsadangpae (Kor. 남사당패, Chin. 男寺黨牌) who travelled around the country from spring to autumn. The program of these troupes consisted of music and dance performances and a variety of acrobatics including beona (Kor. 버나, saucer spinning), salpan (Kor. 살판, floor acrobatics), and eoreum (Kor. 어름, rope walking). The troupes also staged dramatic genres such as deotboegi (Kor. 덧뵈기, mask dramas) and deolmi (Kor. 덜미, puppet plays). The puppet play segment of the namsadang performances was designated in 1988 as Important Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 3.

Namsadangpae moved from town to town, performing in city marketplaces and villages. Each troupe was usually affiliated with a Buddhist temple and sold amulet sheets from this temple during its tour. A portion of the revenues generated from the sales were handed to the monks upon the troupe’s return to the temple at the end of the performance season. The entertainers sometimes used this connection to Buddhist temples to portray their trade as an activity helping to spread Buddha’s teachings. However, in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the number of namsadangpae increased so rapidly that they could no longer be accommodated in the temples. Consequently, some of the troupes were forced out of the temples. These troupes made new bases in neighboring villages; these villages were subsequently named Sadanggol (Kor. 사당골, lit. Sadang Village).

Pungmul (Kor. 풍물), the music and dance segment of a namsadang show, was generally composed from tunes of utdari garak (Kor. 웃다리가락), or the farmers’ music from Gyeonggi and Chungcheong Provinces. Some of the highlights of these segments were jinpuri (Kor. 진풀이), yeoldu bal sangmo dolligi (Kor. 열두 발 상모돌리기), and mudong (Kor. 무동). In the beona segment, a beonajabi (Kor. 버나잡이, spinner) spun objects on top of a cherrywood pole, including bowls, sieve frames, or wash basins, while making jokes and conversation with the maehossi (Kor. 매호씨), his interlocutor. In the salpan segment, the acrobat, or salpansoe (Kor. 살판쇠), demonstrated his skills while joking with the maehossi as well. The eoreum, or rope-walking segment, was also performed in dialogue by an eoreumsani (Kor. 어름산이) to the beat of a drum played by the maehossi. Other highlights of the program included jungnori (Kor. 중놀이), a comic portrayal of a depraved monk who, after much torment, succumbs to sensual temptations, and walja nori (Kor. 왈자놀이), a caricature depicting the different classes of Joseon (1392-1910) society. During these dramatic segments, performers sang popular folk songs including Jung Taryeong (Kor. 중타령, Chin. -打令, lit. Monk’s Song), Obongsan Taryeong (Kor. 오봉산타령, Chin. 五峰山打令, lit. Song of Obong Mountain), Pungnyeonga (Kor. 풍년가, Chin. 豊年歌, lit. Song of Good Harvest) and Don Taryeong (Kor. 돈타령, Chin. -打令, lit. Money Song). The mask performance, deotbeogi, was a satirical drama with dance elements; it was probably developed under the influence of bonsandae nori (Kor. 본산대놀이) performances of the Seoul area.

There were a variety of traveling entertaining troupes in traditional Korea, including daegwangdaepae (Kor. 대광대패), sotdaejaengipae (Kor. 솟대쟁이패), sadangpae (Kor. 사당패), geollippae (Kor. 걸립패), and jungmaegupae (Kor. 중매구패). Namsadangpae was the best-known and most influential of these troupes.

Namsadang Show

Namsadang Show
Headword

남사당놀이 ( 男寺黨- , Namsadang Nori )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Autumn > 9th Lunar month > Game

Writer JeonKyungwook(田耕旭)

Namsadang nori (Kor. 남사당놀이, Chin. 男寺黨-, lit. Namsadang play) refers to shows which were performed by troupes of male entertainers, or namsadangpae (Kor. 남사당패, Chin. 男寺黨牌) who travelled around the country from spring to autumn. The program of these troupes consisted of music and dance performances and a variety of acrobatics including beona (Kor. 버나, saucer spinning), salpan (Kor. 살판, floor acrobatics), and eoreum (Kor. 어름, rope walking). The troupes also staged dramatic genres such as deotboegi (Kor. 덧뵈기, mask dramas) and deolmi (Kor. 덜미, puppet plays). The puppet play segment of the namsadang performances was designated in 1988 as Important Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 3.

Namsadangpae moved from town to town, performing in city marketplaces and villages. Each troupe was usually affiliated with a Buddhist temple and sold amulet sheets from this temple during its tour. A portion of the revenues generated from the sales were handed to the monks upon the troupe’s return to the temple at the end of the performance season. The entertainers sometimes used this connection to Buddhist temples to portray their trade as an activity helping to spread Buddha’s teachings. However, in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the number of namsadangpae increased so rapidly that they could no longer be accommodated in the temples. Consequently, some of the troupes were forced out of the temples. These troupes made new bases in neighboring villages; these villages were subsequently named Sadanggol (Kor. 사당골, lit. Sadang Village).

Pungmul (Kor. 풍물), the music and dance segment of a namsadang show, was generally composed from tunes of utdari garak (Kor. 웃다리가락), or the farmers’ music from Gyeonggi and Chungcheong Provinces. Some of the highlights of these segments were jinpuri (Kor. 진풀이), yeoldu bal sangmo dolligi (Kor. 열두 발 상모돌리기), and mudong (Kor. 무동). In the beona segment, a beonajabi (Kor. 버나잡이, spinner) spun objects on top of a cherrywood pole, including bowls, sieve frames, or wash basins, while making jokes and conversation with the maehossi (Kor. 매호씨), his interlocutor. In the salpan segment, the acrobat, or salpansoe (Kor. 살판쇠), demonstrated his skills while joking with the maehossi as well. The eoreum, or rope-walking segment, was also performed in dialogue by an eoreumsani (Kor. 어름산이) to the beat of a drum played by the maehossi. Other highlights of the program included jungnori (Kor. 중놀이), a comic portrayal of a depraved monk who, after much torment, succumbs to sensual temptations, and walja nori (Kor. 왈자놀이), a caricature depicting the different classes of Joseon (1392-1910) society. During these dramatic segments, performers sang popular folk songs including Jung Taryeong (Kor. 중타령, Chin. -打令, lit. Monk’s Song), Obongsan Taryeong (Kor. 오봉산타령, Chin. 五峰山打令, lit. Song of Obong Mountain), Pungnyeonga (Kor. 풍년가, Chin. 豊年歌, lit. Song of Good Harvest) and Don Taryeong (Kor. 돈타령, Chin. -打令, lit. Money Song). The mask performance, deotbeogi, was a satirical drama with dance elements; it was probably developed under the influence of bonsandae nori (Kor. 본산대놀이) performances of the Seoul area.

There were a variety of traveling entertaining troupes in traditional Korea, including daegwangdaepae (Kor. 대광대패), sotdaejaengipae (Kor. 솟대쟁이패), sadangpae (Kor. 사당패), geollippae (Kor. 걸립패), and jungmaegupae (Kor. 중매구패). Namsadangpae was the best-known and most influential of these troupes.