Korean Seesaw(跳板戱)

Korean Seesaw

Headword

널뛰기 ( 跳板戱 , Neolttwigi )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Game

Writer JungHyungho(鄭亨鎬)

Neolttwigi (Kor. 널뛰기, lit. jumping on a board) refers to seesawing, a traditional entertainment practiced mainly by women during the Lunar New Year season. A large rectangular board is supported in its middle by a round hay bundle and two players take turns pushing hard on their end of the board with their feet in order to make the other end spring up. Neolttwigi is also called dappan (Kor. 답판, Chin. 踏板), dopan (Kor. 도판, Chin. 跳板), chopanhui (Kor. 초판희, Chin. 超板戱) or panmu (Kor. 판무, Chin. 板舞). It is played as a game with a winner and loser. The one who first loses her balance and falls off the board is declared the loser. Although mostly played during the Lunar New Year’s holidays, neottwigi is sometimes played on the Great Full Moon Day (Jeongwol Daeboreum, Kor. 정월대보름, first full moon of the year, the fifteenth of the first lunar month), Sangjinil (Kor. 상진일, Chin. 上辰日, lit. High Dragon Day, the first Dragon Day of the year), or Gwisinnal (Kor. 귀신날, Chin. 鬼神-, lit. Day of Ghosts, the sixteenth of the first lunar month, only in the Gyeonggi-do region).

The exact manner in which this activity is conducted varies according to region. The length of the seesaw generally ranges between 2 and 2.4 meters with a width of approximately 30 centimeters and a thickness of 5 centimeters. In some parts of Korea, the ground under either end of the board is dug out. A person may also sit in the middle of the board to stabilize it and help maintain balance between the two players. If one player is significantly heavier than the other, the person sitting in the middle of the board would move closer to that person, giving a greater length of the board to the lighter-weight player. This adjustment is referred to as “giving food” to the lighter player. To keep the players from falling, they are sometimes loosely tied to a rope. Various motions are used in the air during the jump: the players may lift one or both legs sideways, extend one leg forward, or make a gesture of receiving something with a skirt.

Unlike other traditional merrymaking activities for women, neolttwigi is an active and athletic game. It was one of the very few women’s activities that helped strengthen the body, promote blood circulation in the wintertime, and develop a sense of balance. Neolttwigi is also a collective game and is frequently accompanied by singing folk songs.

Korean Seesaw

Korean Seesaw
Headword

널뛰기 ( 跳板戱 , Neolttwigi )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Game

Writer JungHyungho(鄭亨鎬)

Neolttwigi (Kor. 널뛰기, lit. jumping on a board) refers to seesawing, a traditional entertainment practiced mainly by women during the Lunar New Year season. A large rectangular board is supported in its middle by a round hay bundle and two players take turns pushing hard on their end of the board with their feet in order to make the other end spring up. Neolttwigi is also called dappan (Kor. 답판, Chin. 踏板), dopan (Kor. 도판, Chin. 跳板), chopanhui (Kor. 초판희, Chin. 超板戱) or panmu (Kor. 판무, Chin. 板舞). It is played as a game with a winner and loser. The one who first loses her balance and falls off the board is declared the loser. Although mostly played during the Lunar New Year’s holidays, neottwigi is sometimes played on the Great Full Moon Day (Jeongwol Daeboreum, Kor. 정월대보름, first full moon of the year, the fifteenth of the first lunar month), Sangjinil (Kor. 상진일, Chin. 上辰日, lit. High Dragon Day, the first Dragon Day of the year), or Gwisinnal (Kor. 귀신날, Chin. 鬼神-, lit. Day of Ghosts, the sixteenth of the first lunar month, only in the Gyeonggi-do region).

The exact manner in which this activity is conducted varies according to region. The length of the seesaw generally ranges between 2 and 2.4 meters with a width of approximately 30 centimeters and a thickness of 5 centimeters. In some parts of Korea, the ground under either end of the board is dug out. A person may also sit in the middle of the board to stabilize it and help maintain balance between the two players. If one player is significantly heavier than the other, the person sitting in the middle of the board would move closer to that person, giving a greater length of the board to the lighter-weight player. This adjustment is referred to as “giving food” to the lighter player. To keep the players from falling, they are sometimes loosely tied to a rope. Various motions are used in the air during the jump: the players may lift one or both legs sideways, extend one leg forward, or make a gesture of receiving something with a skirt.

Unlike other traditional merrymaking activities for women, neolttwigi is an active and athletic game. It was one of the very few women’s activities that helped strengthen the body, promote blood circulation in the wintertime, and develop a sense of balance. Neolttwigi is also a collective game and is frequently accompanied by singing folk songs.