Sunday, January 26, 2014

Yangban Mask, Korea

Prompted by a request from a friend about Korean masks, I decided to devote the next few blog posts on the topic. Featured here is the Yangban mask. This masked figure represents the aristocratic class during the Joseon Dynasty. With its happy, gentle expression, this wooden mask with a hinged jaw is perhaps the most popular of the Hahoe style masks.  When watching the Hahoe mask performance at Andong, the masked actor seemed to portray a slightly haughty disposition. The depiction of the aristocrat connoted in a somewhat mocking way that this higher class should be a bit more humble and approachable. Read more about the Yangban and other Hahoe masks at the Guide to the Hahoe Masks and the more academic writing from the Hahoe Museum.

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