☆Yaryu(field playing) is a custom of Ogwangdae(mask dance drama) that was first performed in 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 such as villagers. Suyeong Yaryu is performed by villagers when the full moon rises on the night of January 15 on the lunar calendar after holding a sacrificial rite for mountain guardian deities, village spring water, and the spirit of General Choe Yeong.
Two hundred years ago, a naval commander had a troupe of clowns in Bamma-ri, Chogye (present-day Yulji-ri, Deokgok-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do) play a round of merrymaking for his troops in a naval compound. This is said to have been the origin of Suyeong Yaryu.
The performance is composed of four acts: Nobleman’s Dance, Yeongno Dance, Dance of an Old Couple, and Lion Dance. Prior to the play, the troupe marches, playing music, to entertain spectators along the road to the site of performance. At the end of the performance, they collect the masks used and burn them as a rite of praying for the peace of the village.
Characters appearing in the performance are 11 in all, four from the noble family, a son of the head of a clan, Malttugi (a servant), Yeongno (a therianthropic character), an old woman, Jedaegaksi(a hierophanic character), a lion and a tiger. The performance includes a satire about nobles and deals with the problem of concubines. In contrast with the other Yaryu, it does not have a leper dance, but it does include a lion dance, which is missing from the other Yaryu.
Suyeong Yaryu is a play performed by masked performers. It is a ritual and satirical play with artistic quality performed by villagers.