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K-CULTURAL HERITAGE

Everlasting Legacies of Korea

  • 1964.12.7
    designated date
    Jongmyo Jeryeak refers to music played using dance, songs, and musical instruments when performing ancestral rites (Jongmyo Jerye) at a shrine (Jongmyo) that honors kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.

    In each procedure of the Jongmyo rite, a song called Jongmyo movement is sung to praise the virtues of ancestors, focusing on the music of Bo Tae-pyeong and Jeong Dae-up. While the Jongmyo Jeryeak is played, it is accompanied by a literary figure, Bo Taepyeongjimu (honor of the kings' virtues) and a martial artist, Jeong Dae-upjimu (praise of the kings' exploits).

    Jongmyo Jeryeak was originally created for use in the royal banquet in 1447 (the 29th year of King Sejong's reign), and has been handed down to this day after being repaired in accordance with the 10th year of King Sejong's reign (1464). Eleven songs by Bo Tae-pyeong and 11 by Jung Dae-up are played at the Jongmyo Daeje, which is held on the first Sunday of May every year.

    Jongmyo Jeryeak is the essence of court music, which combines instrumental performances, songs and dances of the Joseon Dynasty, and has a unique style and beauty that can not be seen in other countries while well showing our cultural traditions and characteristics.

    The National Intangible Cultural Property No. 1 Jongmyo Jeryeak is currently listed as a representative UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • 1964.12.7
    designated date
    Yangju Byeolsandae Nori is one of the Sandae Dogam performed by itinerary troupes based in Seoul and the capital region. Consisting of dance, pantomime, well-wishing remarks, and acrobatics, it originated about 200 years ago and came to be performed during holidays and seasonal festivals such as the Buddha’s Birthday, Dano Festival, and Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month) and during ritual prayers for rainfall. Yangju Byeolsandae Nori is known to have originated from the mask dances performed by the Sajikgol Ttakttagipae group in Seoul. Each performance consists of eight episodes, which were often preceded by a parade in which performers wearing masks would dance around a town playing music, and hold a rite consisting of prayers for the safety of its residents. The main event was essentially a satire of Korean society with 32 characters representing different social groups and stereotypes, including depraved monks, impoverished aristocrats, shamans, buffoons, servants, and commoners.
  • 1964.12.7
    designated date
    Namsadang Nori was played by Namsadangpae, a wandering entertainer consisting of at least 40 men, including the puppet (head) from the late Joseon Dynasty to the 1920s, mainly for the working class.

    Namsadang Nori was a folk play that was born naturally in the common people's society, and it was not free to perform in the village due to being persecuted by aristocrats.

    Namsadangpae consists of a hwaju, who plans a performance at the peak of the puppet, a dungsoe, a playmaker, a rookie, an older monk, and a backman, but Namsadang Nori consists of pungmul, Verna, Salpan, Eoreum, Deobogi, and Dulmi.

    Pungmul is a kind of nongak nori, and it can be seen as a play to attract spectators by announcing the start of the performance.

    Verna, similar to Chinese dish spinning, is a feat of spinning a wheel or bowl to a stick or a pipe.

    Salpan is a land talent like today's tumbling, which means that if you do well, you'll die if you don't do well.

    Eoreum was used only in Namsadangpae because it was as difficult as walking on ice as walking cautiously, but more and more people began to use it.

    Seotboogi is a kind of mask play with a mask on. Dulmi, which extends to puppet shows, is called puppet play, Park Cheomji play, and Hongdongji play, depending on the important characters in the puppet show. In particular, puppet play has been handed down to this day, and it is of great historical significance that Namsadang play is the only traditional Korean puppet play.

    Namsadang Nori, which originated from the working class and was performed for the working class, was used to criticize and solve the immorality of the Korean and aristocratic communities that were treated poorly by the society at that time and to awaken public awareness.
  • 1996.12.10
    designated date
    Nubi is a method of sewing in order to put cotton, fur or mulberry paper between the outer fabric and the lining of cloth, or of broad stitching without putting anything between the outer fabric and lining to strengthen the cloth or to make it warmer. Nubijang refers to this skill or to an artisan with such a skill. The method became a common practice following the introduction of cotton growing. Some monks wore the same robe for tens of years, repairing it with this method. Nubi techniques developed to a point where even ordinary people came to adopt them.
    Among the things needed for the work of nubi are thread that matches as closely as possible that used on the clothes or bedding, needles, scissors, a heating iron, a push stick, a measuring stick, and a thimble. Regular straight lines are chiefly used for the nubi work on clothes or bedding, but a mixture of straight and curved lines are also used to make a pattern when working on wrapping cloth or pouches.
    The country’s traditional manual nubi sewing is said to be an artwork similar to embroidery, but it is gradually disappearing, as the work takes time and does not bring much economic benefit.
  • 1967.12.21
    designated date
    Yaryu is a custom of Ogwangdae (mask dance drama) that was first performed in the inland areas of Gyeongsangnam-do but spread to Suyeong, Dongnae, and Busanjin. Yaryu literally means playing in an open field. This mask play was performed by non-professionals like villagers. Dongnae Yaryu was performed on the evening of the full moon of January 15 on the lunar calendar, supposedly to pray for a good year for crops. Dongnae Yaryu was said to have been started about 100 years ago after its cousin performed in nearby Suyeong. Now performed as an entertainment, it is composed of four acts: leper dance, gag exchanged between a yangban (nobleman) and Malttugi (servant), Yeongno (therianthropic character)’s dance, and old couple’s dance. Members of the troupe march to the site of performance while playing music. The main subject of the performance is a satire about nobles. The masks are made of gourds. The chin part of the masks is made movable, moving upward and downward while its wearer delivers a gag. The play is performed to the accompaniment of percussion instruments, which play exorcist music. Malttugi’s dance and nobleman’s dance are the leading performances. Obangsin (Deities of the Five Directions)’s dance, satire about deprave monks, and lion dance -- which are usually included in Ogwangdae mask dance drama -- are not performed in Dongnae Yaryu.
  • 1968.12.21
    designated date
    Jeongak (literally “elegant orthodox music”) refers to music played at the Royal Palace, government offices, and local places where people of refined tastes gathered together. As one of the three bamboo instruments developed during the Silla Period (57 BC - 935 AD), i.e., daegeum (large-sized bamboo flute), junggeum (medium-sized bamboo flute), and sogeum (small-sized bamboo flute), Daegeum is the longest among the traditional transverse flutes of the country. It has the emboucher hole at the right end, a buzzing membrane made of inner skin of reed that gives it a special timber, and six holes. Since it makes a wider range of sound than other instruments, it is used as a leading solo instrument. Daegeum-played jeongak covers all kinds of formal ceremonial music, which are all ensembles. It is not known when they started to be played solo. The titles of the pieces of music played by daegeum include Cheongseong Jajinhanip, Pyeongjo Hoesang, and Jajinhanip. Melodies made by Daegeum Jeongak sound delicate but not light, soft but not feeble, and fragile but not shallow.
  • 1968.12.21
    designated date
    As a drum dance handed down in Tongyeong (Chungmu), Gyeongsangnam-do, it was performed by barmaids and boys. During the Japanese Invasion of Korea (1592-1598), Admiral Yi Sun-sin had this dance played to boost the morale of his troops or celebrate the victory of battles. Many dances performed in Tongyeong, a naval town, were called Seungjeonmu (Victory Dance). Only the Mugo (Drum Dance) was designated as important intangible cultural heritage under the name Seungjeonmu in 1968. Nine years later, Geommu (Sword Dance) was included in said designation. Looking at how a victory dance is performed, four dancing women in ceremonial dress with long white cuffs make movements, gathering in the direction of the drum placed at the center and then scattering in four directions with soft steps after beating the drum; thus creating a grand, joyous atmosphere. Samhyeon dodeuri (dodeuri rhythm music by three strings) and taryeong (Korean folk song) were used as accompaniment in music. The overall dance movements are simple and antiquated, carrying unique local characteristics. Dancers performing a sword dance wear white jacket, red skirt, black sleeveless coat, military official’s hat, red belt, and jacket with long, multicolor-striped undershirts while holding a sword in each hand. The tools used and dancers’ movements in Seungjeonmu are similar to the Mugo performed at the Royal Palace. The elegant dance movements, melodies of music, and overall exquisite arrangement make it a dance with high artistic and traditional value.
  • 1968.12.21
    designated date
    There are several types of strings used to make decorative knots. Circular strings used in accessories or pouches are called dongdahoe. Wide and flat strings used in waist belts are called gwangdahoe, whereas knots used in attire or ceremonial accessories are called gyeokdap or gyeolja. Knots date back to the primeval period, but the techniques for making knots or dyeing them as handed down in this country were introduced from China during the Three Kingdoms Period. During the Joseon Period, the government designated knot craftsmen. As for the materials used to make knots, there are threads made of silk, ramie, mulberry, hemp, and woolen yarn. Knot shapes vary depending on the color, thickness, and methods used for tying. The names used to call them differ from region to region. The names were based on household items, flowers, or insects, such as ginger piece, butterfly, dragonfly, chrysanthemum, etc. Tassels were attached to the lower end of the decorative knots used for musical instruments, vehicles, or Buddhist ceremonies. There were diverse types and levels of tassels depending on their use, i.e., whether they were for the Royal Palace or ordinary households.
  • 1968.12.21
    designated date
    Sanjo refers to the playing of an instrument solo to the accompaniment of janggo (hourglass-shaped drum), moving from slow to fast rhythm, in four to six movements. Gayageum Sanjo is Korean instrumental folk music played solo with gayageum (twelve-stringed zither). Gayageum Byeongchang refers to the singing and playing of gayageum at the same time. All Sanjo start with slow rhythm and gradually changes to faster rhythm, making listeners feel tense and increasingly delighted. Gayamgeum Sanjo is made up of four to six rhythms: jinyangjo (slow), jungmori (moderate), jungjungmori (moderately fast), jajinmori (fast), and hwimori (fastest). Compared to other instrument-based Sanjo, Gayageum Sanjo masters could form diverse schools thanks to the unique characteristics of gayageum. A singer engaging in Gayageum Byeongchang sings a part of danga or pansori to the accompaniment of his/her own gayageum playing. Gayageum Byeongchang used to be sung by Gayageum Sanjo masters, but the current tendency is for the separation between players of Sanjo and Byeongchang. A song sung as Byeongchang creates its own atmosphere due to the unique melody of gayageum. The following are well-known parts of Gayageum Byeongchang: Jebinojeonggi (Route of the Swallow's Trip) of Pansori Heungboga (Song of Heungbo), Sarangga (Song of Love) of Chunhyangga (Song of Chunhyang), Gogocheonbyeon (Brightness of the Sunshine in the Sky) of Sugungga (Song of the Rabbit and the Turtle), and “Sim Cheong’s Father on His Way to Hwangseong” of Simcheongga (Song of Sim Cheong).
  • 1964.12.24
    designated date
    The gat, a traditional Korean hat, was an essential item of attire for men whenever they went out in public. It was referred to by several different names including Heungnip, Chillip, or Pyeongnip. Gannil, the method of making these hats with fine bamboo strips or horsehair, involved a complex series of techniques in which the chongmoja (the cup-shaped upper part of the hat) and the yangtae (its brim) were produced first, and then combined in a process called ipja, which consisted in covering the headgear with silk fabric and lacquering. The demand for Korean bamboo hats declined sharply after the proclamation of the topknot decree and the introduction of Western culture including western-style clothing in the 20th century. The heritage is currently preserved in Tongyeong, Yecheon and Jeju.
  • 1964.12.24
    designated date
    Pansori is a traditional Korean genre of epic musical storytelling in which a sorikkun (single performer) presents a long narrative work comprising sori (singing), aniri (lyrics), and neoreumsae (gestures) to the accompaniment of a gosu (drummer). While its exact origin is unknown, some scholars believe that pansori developed during the reign of King Sukjong of the Joseon Dynasty on the basis of Chunhyangga, which was composed by Yu Jin-han in 1754, while others trace its origin to an entertainment mentioned in a document dating back to the early days of the Joseon Dynasty. Still others argue that it dates back to Silla, where folk entertainments called pannoreum were widely performed. The musical accompaniment of Pansori consists of a variety of rhythms called jinyangjo, jungmori, jungjungmori, and hwimori. The drummer accompanying the singer breaks out into shouts of praise and encouragement, such as “Great!” and “Perfect!”, known as chuimsae, at the appropriate endings. During the reign of King Sunjo (1800-1834) of Joseon, there were eight masters of pansori, including Gwon Sam-deuk, Song Heung-rok, Mo Heung-gap, Yeom Gye-dal, Go Su-gwan, and Sin Man-yeop, each of who played a key role in the development of the musical genre into the form we know today. The current tendency is to divide Pansori into the following three schools: Dongpyeonje, which developed in the northeast area of Jeolla-do; Seopyeonje, which developed in the southwestern region of the peninsula; and Junggoje, which developed in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do. In its early stage, there were twelve great Pansori works, including Chunhyangga (Song of Chunhyang), Simcheongga (Song of Sim Cheong), Sugungga (Song of the Rabbit and the Turtle), Heungboga (Song of Heungbo), Jeokbyeokga (Song of the Red Cliff), Baebijang taryeong (Song of General Bae), Byeongangsoe taryeong (Song of Byeon Gang-soe), Jangkki taryeong (Song of the Cock-Pheasant), Onggojip taryeong (Song of the Miser Onggojip), Musugi taryeong (Song of Military Officials), and Gangneung maehwa taryeong (Song of Plum Blossoms of Gangneung), which were much shorter than the five works remaining today, namely, Chunhyangga, Simcheongga, Sugungga, Heungboga, and Jeokbyeokga. These five Pansori works have been designated as Important Intangible Cultural Heritages by the Korean government and are performed widely across Korea by various performers, including the following select group of government-acknowledged masters: Kim Yeo-ran, Kim Yeon-su and Kim So-hui (Chunhyangga); Jeong Gwon-jin (Simcheongga); Park Nok-ju (Heungboga); Jeong Yong-hun and Park Cho-wol (Sugungga); Park Dong-jin, Park Bong-sul, and Han Gap-ju (Joeokbyeokga).
  • 1964.12.24
    designated date
    Ogwangdae refers to a form of traditional folk performance developed in the southern part of Korea including Tongyeong, hence the name Tongyeong Ogwangdae. Initially, Tongyeong Ogwangdae was performed on the eve of the Daeboreum (full moon of the 15th day of the first lunar month), but it gradually came to be performed on other festive days in spring and autumn. Some specialists claim that Tongyeong Ogwangdae originated from a form developed in Changwon Ogwangdae (Mask Dance Drama of Changwon) about a century ago - either by a group of local entertainers or Yi Hwa-seon, an Ogwandae player who moved from Changwon to Tongyeong. Each performance of Tongyeong Ogwangdae is composed of five episodes in which a total of 31 players play diverse characters by donning masks intended to represent them, including Leper, Malttugi, First Yangban, Second Yangban, Hongbaek Yangban, Faltering Yangban, Pockmarked Yangban, Black Yangban, Jorijung, Eight Heavenly Maids, Yeongno, Yeongnong Yangban, Halmi, Jeja Gaksi, Sangjwa, Blind Man, Sangju, Hunter, Mongdori, Lion, and Dambi. Each episode is focused on the complicated relationships between commoners and their views on Korean society and the ruling class. The words exchanged between the characters are typically barbed with sharp satire, effectively mocking the absurdity and hypocrisy of Confucian aristocrats and Buddhist monks. Tongyeong Ogwangdae is also famous for some of its dances, and most particularly the Leper’s Dance, which convincingly expresses the bitter life of a leper, and is also the only Ogwangdae troupe to present the Lion Dance during its performance. Tongyeong Ogwangdae is inscribed on Korea’s list of Important Intangible Cultural Heritages.
  • 1964.12.24
    designated date
    Goseong Ogwangdae, whose name is known to have originated from traditional belief in the Five Elements, is a form of traditional folk performance developed in the southern part of Korea including Goseong, hence the name. Initially, Goseong Ogwangdae was performed by the Ogwangdae troupe on the eve of the Daeboreum (full moon of the 15th day of the first lunar month), but it gradually came to be performed on other festive days in spring and autumn as well. Goseong Ogwangdae can be traced back to the 1910s when a group of masked dancers in the Namchon Sect happened to watch a performance of the Tongyeong Ogwangdae (Mask Dance Drama of Tongyeong) which inspired them to develop their own version. It was later influenced by the Changwon Ogwangdae (Mask Dance Drama of Changwon), too, when it developed five dances to form each episode, namely, the Leper’s Dance, Ogwangdae Dance, Monk’s Dance, Bibi Dance, and Jemilju Dance. These dances are presented by a total of nineteen characters including Leper, Malttugi, Won Yangban, Cheongje Yangban, Jeokje Yangban, Baekje Yangban, Heukje Yangban, Hongbaek Yangban, Jongga Doryeong, Bibi, Bibi Yangban, Monk, Bride, Old Man, Old Woman, Jemilju, and Servant. Each performance focuses on the life of commoners, the complex relations between people from different rungs of society, and the absurdity and hypocrisy of Confucian aristocrats and Buddhist priests. Unlike the performances by other Owangdae troupes, its dances lack elements of the shaman’s dance, which was performed to expel evil forces, and instead include more entertaining elements. Performers of Tongyeong Ogwangdae wore paper masks in its early days, but recently they have begun to use masks made of paulownia wood or gourds. Tongyeong Ogwangdae is now inscribed on the list of Important Intangible Cultural Heritages.
  • 2018.12.27
    designated date
    "Nakhwa" refers to a craftsman who has the skill and ability to draw pictures of paper, wood, leather, etc. by using indoneses.

    The origin of Korea's fall paintings can be found in the "Nakhwa Transformation" contained in the "Oju Yeonmunjangjeonsango" written by Yi Gyu-gyeong (1788-1863), a realist of the late Joseon Dynasty, and has been passed down around the Imsil area of Jeollabuk-do since the early 19th century.

    The basic painting technique in Korea is not much different from the traditional painting technique because it is based on traditional painting. However, there is a unique difference in that various compliance methods such as Bubyeokjun and Woo Jeomjun of Oriental painting are expressed with indu instead of brushes, and the ink jokes shown in ink paintings are also expressed with indu. In this regard, Nakhwajang's skill in expressing skilled handwork and subtle jokes dealing with the pharynx and fire is important.
  • 2018.12.27
    designated date
    "Soy sauce making" is a concept that encompasses the overall process of preparing ingredients directly, making and fermenting, beyond the efficacy of the soy-based food, the intestine itself. In Korea, which belongs to the Dujiang culture, it is known that people made and ate soy sauce since the Three Kingdoms Period. In addition, during the Joseon Dynasty, the royal family had a separate burial chamber for the burial of the intestines, and traditional Korean burial grounds were an important place in the diet, such as the burial palace called "Jango Mama." <br /><br />우리나라의 '장 담그기'는 콩 재배, 메주 만들기, 장 만들기, 장 가르기, 숙성과 발효 등으로 이어지는 과정을 발전시켜왔다는 점에서 중국이나 일본과 구별되는 독특한 장 제조법을 가지고 있다. In addition, the two types of soybean paste and soy sauce were made after the process of floating fermented soybean paste, and the fact that the soybean paste and soy sauce were used in the previous year to go through the form of overlapping soy sauce for many years are both unique and characteristic of Korean soy sauce making. <br /><<<bb장장장장장장 '는는는 가지고 가지고 has a long history of making soy sauce since ancient times, it can be studied in various directions, including the study of Korean food recipes and dietary culture, the combination of Korean residential culture, seasonal customs, ups and downs, traditional science elements, and the fact that all Koreans are directly and indirectly participating in the designation of the national cultural heritage by generations. <br /><br />다만, '장 담그기'는 우리나라 전역에서 각 가정을 중심으로 현재도 자연스럽게 전승되고 있는 생활관습이자 문화라는 점에서, 특정 보유자나 보유단체를 인정하지 않는다.