Mask legacy seen through masquerades

Among the cultural heritage of Koreans is the mask that was created and developed through a long historical course.

The mask that is worn over the face is made with various materials including paper, wood, hemp cloth, gourd and silk and decorated with fur or coloured paper. And it comes in various shapes.

Humans began to use the mask in artistic activities like dance and masquerade and it became varied in shape.

Pongsan and Kangryong mask dances of the Hwanghae provincial area have a long history and they are known as the representative mask dances of Korea.

The mask also got diversified. Famous masks are that of the Hwanghae provincial area, lion’s mask and sandae mask (which was used in artistic performance) of the Pukchong area and ogwangdae mask (which was used in satirical dance) of South Kyongsang Province.

The mask developed along with masquerade through the Koryo period to the period of feudal Joson dynasty as it assumed different regional characters in terms of making method and form.

Mask makers of the Hwanghae area mainly used paper and those of the Hamgyong area wood.

At present, the mask is widely used for cheering players in sports games and in artistic performances.

                                                                                                                      By Kwon Hyo Song PT