Korean Language Blog

Korean Mask Dances Posted by on Apr 28, 2011 in Culture

There are certain traditional Korean mask dances that are considered by the Korean government as  important cultural assets of Korea. One of these mask dances is called Bongsan Talchum (봉산탈춤). It’s a dance that originated from the Bongsan region in Hwanghae Province (황해도). Korean mask dances are often performances that satirize different classes of Korean society. Korean mask dances are a combination of monologues and dancing.

The Goseong Ogwangdae (고성오광대) is a mask dance that is famous in Gyeongsangnam Province (경상남도). The Goseong Ogwangdae satirizes the yangban (양반) class, which was the upper class in the Joseon Era (조선시대). The upper classes are often parodied in Korean mask dances, because the audience was usually plucked from those of the lower classes. Watching these dances was a chance for the lower classes to escape from a reality where the nobility oppressed the lower classes.

The Gangnyeong Talchum (강령탈춤) is a mask dance from Gangnyeong. Gangnyeong Talchum is a unique mask dance in that it has more singing than the other mask dances. Korean mask dances not only portray the flaws of certain classes of Korean society, but the stereotypes of each class of society. The women in Gangnyeong Talchum and in other mask dances are often either innocent maidens, aggravated wives or a promiscuous lady of the night.


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  1. 미화 박 비슬리:

    참으로 오래간 만에 고전 민요와 춤을 보면서 예전 어릴적 국민 학교때, 할머니 할아버지 하시던 생각 나네요,