Pungmulgut (풍물굿) can be described as rural ensembles performing percussion music and dance which have no known composers and choreographers and which have never been written down. It is a shamanistic tool believed to purify village wells, protect people from evil spirits and diseases, and ensure communal well-being and abundant crops.
Pungmul has developed regional varieties, of which five main groups may be distinguished in South Korea: central, southwest coast, southwest inland plain, southeast coast, and mid east coast.
Pungmul was originally designated as a national Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1966 as one entry, but it was expanded in the 1980s to accommodate regional variations.
Content adapted from Poongmul.com, a project of the Korean Cultural Outreach Network in the New York City metropolitan area.