Friday, February 07, 2014

Sonbi Mask, Korea

Another one of the traditional Hahoe masks from Korea is Sonbi (or Seonbi). A scholar of noble heritage, the stern looking Sonbi is seen in the performance squabbling with the aristocratic Yongban over which had the higher status. Its bulging eyes indicate excessive reading, and the high checkbones and hollow upper lids connote someone who is so absorbed in his studies he couldn't look after his household. Hollow cheekbones are typical of other masked figures who have hardship, but Sonbi's are somewhat intentional and self-inflicted due to his complex thoughts. Overall, his look is one of personal dissatisfaction. In the play, Sonbi competes with Yonban over wooing the woman Pune.

Read more about Sonbi and other Hahoe Masks at the Hahoe Mask Museum website.

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