Hand Carved Wood Korean Mask Bongsan Tal Miyal Old Grandmother
Miyal (Halmi) is the name of the old wife who appears as the leading role in the family story in the second half of Bongsan Talchum. Talchum is a traditional Korean mask dance play. Miyal is a symbol of a wife who was treated coldly during Joseon Dynasty, and gives a very shabby impression from her appearance. However, Miyal's mask dance is very important and wonderful in the play. Miyal's hip dance performed to the fast rhythm is excellent.
The Bongsan talchum is one of Korea's most representative mask dances. Composed of seven acts, the Bongsan talchum is an outdoor play ("madanggeuk" in Korean) that consists of dance, music and dramatic dialogue. In the madanggeuk, there is no clear distinction between the stage and audience members who intervene freely in the play. This unbounded interaction between the audience and the actors makes the madanggeuk a very unique traditional performing art in Korea as well as throughout the world. The main character of Bongsan talchum is Malttugi, a servant of a yangban (upper-class) family. The yangban class, renegade Buddhist monks, and tyrannical and patriarchal men are mocked and satirized throughout the performance, giving a voice to the difficulties suffered by the commoner class as well as their will for resistance. These are views that were difficult, if not impossible, for them to express in "real" life.