Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bangsangsi Tal

Painted masks, or tal, have had a place in Korean culture going back to prehistoric times. These play roles both in dramas and in religious settings. Some were revered in Shamanistic (Muistic) shrines. These masks often have traditional identities and features. One such is Bangsangsi (here by Amida). This character is an exorcist, with four golden eyes to see evil. The dancer with this mask traditionally leads funeral processions and also the Narye, a New Year's Eve ritual, to drive away any evil spirits.

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