Hahoe Pyolshin-Gut T'al-Nori is one of
Korea's most traditional folk plays.
Handed down at Hahoe-ri, P'ungch'on-myon,
Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea, the
mask dance drama has been performed for
centuries as a village ritual, Until 1928
the shaman ritual had been performed at
intervals of three, five or sometimes ten
years, depending on the revelation of the
local goddess or an local circumstances.
The performance began on lunar New Year's
Day and continued at various places around
the village until midmonth.
The village sacrificial rite was observed
at Sonangdong, the village shaman shrine,
early on the morning of January 15th.
The drama combines shaman rituals and
popular entertainment. The village ritual
was intended to please the local goddess
and exorcise evil spirits. The village prayed
for an abundant harvest and for peace and
prosperity, while enjoying themselves performing
the play. The whole village took park in
the event and enjoyed the satirical story
revealed in the drama.
It was said that if you did not have
a chance to watch the mask dance performed
in your lifetime, you could not go to heaven.
Like most other folk mask dance dramas
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 so on, Each of these
characters represents a social class.