Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hahoe Maeul Mask Dance; the Monk and the Maiden

One of the many little treasures pocketed here and there throughout the Korean peninsula is the Hahoe Maeul Folk Village, outside of the traditional town of Andong. One of the main attractions of this folk village is the mask dance that is performed on Sunday afternoons. It's not quite from the days when tigers smoked pipes, but it's still old!

One of the many playful skits in their repertoire is of a young maiden walking through the woods when she has a sudden urge to relieve herself. Thinking there is no one else around, she hikes up her hanbok and squats down to pee. Mean while, a monk catches site of her. I'm not sure if it's the third or the fifth precept he loses sight of first, (he seems to become quite intoxicated by the sent of her urine...) but succumbing to the fifth is a slippery slope to forgetting the rest of them!

In the gist of their sort confrontation, he tells her, "I may be a monk, but I'm still a man!" admitting that the sight of her has made him wild. It may not be a coincidence that the village idiot shows up at this time, as the girl climbs on the monks shoulders and they trot off to the stables!


  1. I think I've been to this village - is it the one about 1 hour south (?) of Seoul? If so, I found it fascinating - quite wonderfully organized with no trace of kitsch.

  2. Ah, that one is the Korea Folk Village. Actually, that's where my wife and I got married.
    This one is about a 4 hour bus ride south of Seoul. The one outside of Seoul was constructed, (but you're right, very well done) while this one is still an authentic, working village that escaped destruction.