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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Hahoe Village’s Mask Dance Performance

[세계유산 안동 하회 마을 : Hahoe Village’s Mask Dance Performance]

As the Nakdonggang river winds its way through North Gyeongsang Province nestled in one of its curves is a picturesque place called Andong Hahoe Folk Village. Designated “Important Folklore Material No. 122” by the Korean government, Andong Hahoe Folk Village is where members of the Pungsan Ryu family have lived for many generations. “Hahoe” means winding river, and the scenic combination of the river and Taebaeksan mountains mean the village is located in an auspicious location. Some say Andong Hahoe Folk Village is like a lotus floating on the water.

The Hahoe Mask Dance Drama Performance (Hahoe Byeolsingut Exorcism) has been performed for centuries as a village ritual intended to please the local goddess and exorcise evil spirits. The village prayed for an abundant harvest, peace and prosperity, and self-enjoyment performing the play. 


In an agricultural society a good harvest was considered to be the key factor of the village’s survival and the villages performed a sacrificial rite to pray to the heavens for an ever-lasting and bountiful harvest. As an act of prayer, the mask dance is made up of 10 episodes with a satirical story of former nobleman.

There is an old saying that if you did not have a chance to watch the mask dance performed in your lifetime, you would not be able to enter heaven’s doors. Like most folk mask dances handed down in rural communities across Korea, Hahoe Pyolshin-Gut T'al-Nori features various allegorical characters, such as Yangban (an arrogant aristocrat), Sonbi (a pedantic scholar), Chung (a depraved Buddhist monk), Imae (a foolish servant), Paekchong (a coarse butcher) and more. Each character represents a social class and shows the conflicts amongst the different classes and satirizes the social tensions among the families in the village.

The Hahoe Village not only features the Mask Dance Performances but also the Andong Soju Museum that is open everyday and provides group tours to make and sample soju. Visitors can also experience making Hanji (Korean Paper) at the corner of the village and more.

Performance Dates : Wednesdays & Weekends from 14:00-15:00 PM

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