Melissa Enderle's travelblog on her travels to Mali, Tunisia, Serbia, Eastern Europe, India, and South Korea.
Monday, February 03, 2014
Paekchong Mask, Korea
Paekchong (or Baekchong) is the butcher in the Hahoe mask performance. Like other societies, its meat-handling profession put it in lowest class in Korean society. Its facial features including pointed eyes, furrowed wrinkled brow, protruding lip, cheek lines, and an overall rough look connotes a certain amount of wickedness and ruthlessness. Like the Chung (monk) mask, the character has a small lump on its forehead, connoting gloom. However, Paekchong does feel guilt for the taking of life. In the play I saw, Paekchong battled with the cow, killed it, promptly butchered it and removed the heart and testicles, which he first offered to the audience and then sold to the Yangban character.