National Intangible Cultural Property No. 79 Baltal (masked foot play, puppet show)

K-CULTURAL HERITAGE

Everlasting Legacies of Korea

National Intangible Cultural Property No. 79 Baltal (masked foot play, puppet show) +

Classification Intangible Cultural Heritage / Traditional Performing Arts / Yeonhee
Designated date 1983.6.1
location Others
It is presumed that this mask play stemmed from the puppet play performed by itinerant troupes called Namsadang in Anseong.

The face-shaped mask is put on a foot stretched out by a person inside a covered space sized 2m by 1m and the puppet’s arms are moved with a string (now with bamboo sticks) attached to them. The person inside the space sings, dances, and cracks gags.

Another clown outside the covered space moves in harmony with the movements made by the masked foot to the accompaniment of music played on piri (flute), jeotdae (bamboo flute), haegeum (two-stringed fiddle), buk (drum), and janggo (hourglass-shaped drum).

Baltal is a puppet show mixed with a mask play. The gags cracked by the clown included acrimonious satires about what was happening in society and expressed the delights and sorrows experienced by commoners who were forced to live hard lives.

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