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.

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