East Asia

Korean traditional character mask

Q:  The mask is roughly 28 by 20 cm. It is wooden and has a black cloth covering and ties at the back. I think it is of Korean origin, but unsure if it’s an  artistic/religious mask or if it depicts a particular character.   Maddie,  1477

A:  Sorry to take so long. I’ve had some problems that took a week to fix.

Your red mask is one of the characters in the Yangju Pyeolsandae Nori, the most popular folk dance in all of Korea. There are over 20 other actors in the dance. Many Korean masks are designated as national cultural properties. Yours is no exception and would have been used in the play if it hadn’t been sold to a tourist first.

Incidentally, there are hundreds of authentic Korean masks being made each year. The ones that can be purchased by collectors are no different than the ones being used. You might want to consider specializing in these masks. It won’t cost you much!   B+


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