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Traditions

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.

Regions

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.

  1. Yeongdong (영동), officially Gangneung pungmul (강릉풍물)
    Important Intangible Cultural Property 11–4 (1985)
  2. Yeongnam (영남), officially Jinju Samcheonpo pungmul (진주삼천포풍물)
    Important Intangible Cultural Property 11–1 (1966)
  3. Honam jwado (호남좌도), officially Imsil Pilbong pungmul (임실필봉풍물)
    Important Intangible Cultural Property 11–5 (1988)
  4. Honam udo (호남우도), officially Iri pungmul (이리풍물)
    Important Intangible Cultural Property 11–3 (1985)
  5. Utdari (웃다리), officially Pyeongtaek pungmul (평택풍물)
    Important Intangible Cultural Property 11–2 (1985)

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.

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