National Intangible Cultural Property No. 114 Yeomjang (making blinds) +
||Intangible Cultural Property / Traditional Technology / Craft
Yeomjang is the term for a craftsman who makes blinds out of various materials such as reeds and hemp stalks, especially bamboo.
Blinds were necessary for life in Korean traditional houses called hanok. They were used in summer to block the strong sunlight and keep the people inside cool; they also served to prevent people from looking inside. They were made in various sizes, ranging from small ones to block palanquin doors and large ones to cover doorways.
Bamboo blinds in particular took a lot of time and effort to make, so much so that the hands were said to have had to accomplish 10,000 steps. In Korea, blinds had been used since the Three Kingdoms Period; with the gradual disappearance of hanok, however, they had fallen out of use, with demand rapidly declining from the 1970s. As a result, there are few people left who make them.
Today, blinds are made only in a few places such as Damyang in Jeollanam-do Province and Tongyeong in Gyeongsangnam-do Province.