Hahoe and Byeongseon Masks of Andong
Period: Goryeo Period
Location: Andong, North Gyeongsang
Status: National Treasure No. 121
These are stage play masks handed down in Hahoe and Byeongsan villages in Andong, North Gyeongsang.
They are the oldest existing stage play masks in the country.
A total of 11 Hahoe Masks have been handed down: two lions, a bride, a monk, a nobleman, a scholar, a chorangi (a frivolous servant), an imae (a servant for a scholar), a bune (a young married woman), a butcher and an old woman.
Meanwhile, the two Byeongsan Masks are of a daegam (a high-ranking official) and a nobleman.
In Korea, stage masks were usually made of gourd or paper and burned at the end of the year.
Note, however, that the masks used in Hahoe and Byeongsan were made of wood and preserved, displaying a sophisticated appearance.
The masks were originally used at Byeolsingut (an exorcism rite held to pray for peace of the village and good crops to the village guardian deity) held during the year’s first full moon, which is Jan. 15 on the lunar calendar.