RAMAYANA MASKS & Mask of Asia : South Korea
In the past, masks were used on the battlefield to protect the faces of leaders, soldiers, and war horses. Sometimes, as can be seen from many nations, masks are used at funeral ceremonies of important figures. The Korean mask performing arts came from China in the 9th-century CE., and the influence from India went through the Silk Road. The two influential cultures had mingled with the indigenous culture of Korea. The majority of masks are made of wood or paper with paper mache painted and beautifully ornate. The masks are kept in temples due to their various ritual functions. Some places also burn the masks after each play.
Though most Korean masks are used in rituals to prevent bad fortunes, some are used for entertainment, as seen in a folk dance called Pongsan, mostly a satire on society, religion, and comedy. The forms of Korean masks differ depending on the region – in the city and the south of the country. The masks featured in the exhibition are called the Bune Mask, a mask used in a Korean exorcism play.
After the Korean government has established its policies promoting ancient Korean traditions, the mask plays have received popularity from the new generation, leading to different new and innovative mask performances.
Forms of satirical mask theatre have been an important part of Korean folk culture
MUSEUM OF KOREAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC, SEOUL