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About Song-pa

Intangible Cultural Properties

  • About Song-pa
  • Cultural Remains
  • Intangible Cultural Properties

Sandaenori mask dance drama of songpa

  • Name
    Songpa Sandae Nori
  • Status
    Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 49 (Nov. 11, 1973)
  • Location
    136, Samhaksa-ro (within Seoul Nori Madang), old Songpa-jin
  • Holders
    Hakseok Kim
  • Sandae Nori is a masked play originated from Seoul, Gyeonggi area; main Sandae was originated from Gupabal, Nokbeon and Aeogae(Ahyeon), from which other Sandae Nori was derived and spread to Yangjugu-eup, Toegaewon, Songpa and Nodeol(Noryangjin); Yangjubyeol Sandae Nori with characteristics of Gwanwon Gwanno Nori and Songpa Sandae Nori, one of masked plays widely played in trade places are the only ones continued today.
  • Songpa(near Jamsil bridge) is one of the 5 Han river ferries near Seoul area; ships could reach to Gangwon-do and merchants could travel by horses. In late Chosun, it was one of the wealthiest among the 15 largest cities, therefore economic condition for Songpa Sandae Nori was already established. However when Woo and Cheonho-dong market outside Dongdaemun grew, Songa’s commercial power was weakened and the great flood in Han river in 1925 made things worse; the town was destroyed people moved and settled in Shin Songpa(Garak-dong) and Dolmari(Seokchon-dong); masked play was slowly forgotten, only maintaining its existence; then it was appointed as an Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 49 in 1973, which stimulated inheriting the skills.
  • It was played during major holidays such as the 15th of January, Dano, Baekjung andChuseok; especially in Baekjung, famous actors were invited and gave performance for a week; even when the trade wasn’t busy, merchants would hang a rope in the air(tight rope walking), put a wrestling match and play Sandae Nori to keep the market going.
  • Dance was the main performance just like in other masked plays; witty remarks and singing also took their parts; main instrumental accompaniment was composed of 12 beats of Yeombul, Taryeong and Gutgeori rhythm; dance styles included Yeombul Geodeureum, Taryeong Ggaeggiri(Ggaeggi dance) and Gutgeori Geondeureong, all of which were again divided into over 40 different dance movements, therefore these could be the comprehensive typical dance movements of Korean folk dance.
  • The structure of the play still follows the traditional 12 madang(acts) principle; and the number of masks is 32, among which masks of Sandaedogam are still preserved and relatively true to their originals.

Songpadaribalgi

  • Name
    Songpa Dari Bapgi (Songpa Bridge Walking)
  • Status
    Seoul Intangible Cultural Property No. 3 (1990)
  • Location
    136, Samhaksa-ro (inside Seoul Nori Madang)
  • Holders
    Kim Il-rok and Han Cheon-bok
  • Dari Bapgi (lit. Bridge Walking) originated from a religious ritual of crossing a bridge in the belief that crossing a bridge as many times as one's age early in the new year will bring a year free from leg diseases, expel all disasters, and invite good fortune.Dari Bapgi was usually performed at night during the three days around Jeongwol Daeboreum (the fifteenth of the first lunar month). During the period, the four city wall gates of Seoul were not closed even at night, which suggests that the practice of Dari Bapgi was regarded as an important tradition.
  • It was also performed on other traditional holidays including Dano, Baekjung, and Chuseok. Particularly on Baekjung, renowned performers were invited to the region to perform mask plays for more than one week. As the Songpa area was a commercial zone at that time, local merchants hosted the events of tightrope walking, wrestling, and Sandae Nori (mask dance) by sharing expenses, and operated a temporary market around the event venues.
  • The Dari Bapgi in Songpa is distinguished from that in other regions as it was transformed into a kind of folk play over time. Throughout its history of over 120 years, it has been passed down only in the Mongchon and Songpa areas. In the past, the tradition was performed for three days around Jeongwol Daeboreum (the 15th of the first lunar month). The annual Dari Bapgi event was held on a very large scale until 1925. The event was suspended due to flooding during the summer of the following year and it was only after 1959 when the tradition was performed at the First National Folk Art Contest that the event was restored and started to be passed down in the areas again.
  • Dari Bapgi originated from a religious ritual to drive away evil, but, over time, it turned into a folk play combined with artistic performances as troupes specialized in it were organized in various areas including Baramdeuri, Mongchon, Songpa, and Dolmari.
  • The annual Dari Bapgi event on Jeongwol Daeboreum took place following a certain procedure. but it was suspended after being held in Dolmari in 1926, due to flooding. Several decades after, it was restored through historical research based on the testimonies of those who participated in it in the past. The restored form of the play has been passed down to today.
  • Songpa Dari Bapgi was designated as Seoul Intangible Cultural Property No. 3 in 1990.