The purpose of study is to examine the characteristics of female casts in Bongsan Talchum and the features of Late Joseon Period.
The method of approaching history background and theoretical framework was based on specialty publication and selective research papers. This study is mainly divided into two features which are unfolding style and theatrical style to find out roles and characteristics of female casts. The unfolding style focused on appearance, exit, development, and feature of female casts, and the theatrical style considered on mask, costume, and dancing style. The result of study shows the characteristics and role of female casts. Additionally, social norms of the late Joseon period are divided into six features and analyze features and characteristics.
First, a caste system in the late Joseon period was formed with majority of nobleman and minority of law-class people. The social change gave an influence on social chaos and criticized noblemen through cultural and artistic expression.
Three traditional norms of the Confucian ideas such as predominance of man over woman, the seven valid causes for divorce, and the three norms for female,suppressed female life in the late Joseon period, and females were recognized as carrying on a family line. The social phenomena made female life suppressive and unsociable.
Second, the study result of unfolding style shows the main patterns of appearance and exit. Sangjwa in Act 1 and Somu in Act 4 did not appear by themselves, and appear by riding a litter. Miyalhalmi in Act 7 and shaman actively appear themselves by walking. However, in the moment of exit, they have different style. Sangjwa and Somu left the stage by walking but Miyalhalmi left the stage by her husband. The results of theatrical style show the characteristics of mask and dancing style. For the characteristics of mask, mask of Sangjwa in Act 1 has a white face with red lips, and Somu in Act 4 represents beautiful woman by having a white face with wearing rouge. Compared to Sangjwa and Somu, Miyalhalmi in Act 7has a red face with many spots, lantern jaw, and deep-set eyes. It is the main difference between the beauty and the ugly. Shaman has a characteristic that shaman wears Somu’s mask but puts red ribbon around her forehead rather than rouge one´s cheeks. For the features of dancing style, Sangjwa takes a role of ritual dance, so dancing style is comparatively passive. For the features of dancing style,Sangjwa takes a role of ritual dance, so dancing style is comparatively passive. Somu has characteristics of voluptousity and coquetry to lure old man and Chibali by waist and butt movements. However, Somu introduces Acts by only dance, without having a dialogue. Miyalhalmi appears with having a conversation. Similar to Somu, there are many waist and butt movements in the Act, and the dancing style is very active. The main features are running, turning, and waving hands movements which represent the exorcism of praying a wish for Miyalhalmi’s death.
Third, there were two types of females in Bongsan Talchum who were passive ugly woman and active beautiful woman. Other characters in the masque such as male characters show interest in active beautiful woman. This represents that the roles of male casts show his interest based on facial appearances and this interest is sexual love. Female casts in Bongsan Talchum have strong features.
In the result, Bongsan Talchum has strong female characteristics and examines features of Late Joseon Period and social norms, including hunger, adversity, and male tyranny. Through the conclusion, the following findings were given:First, subjects of this study are some female casts such as Sangjwa, Somu,Miyalhalmi and shaman but examining all female casts in Bongsan Talchum is necessary for the following study.
Second, based on the result of insufficient advanced study, it shows that the characteristic of female casts as well as social features and norms. It seems that studies on Gangryung Talchum, Eunyul Talchum, and Yangju Byeolsandae are insufficient. Thus, it is necessary to investigate on characteristics of female casts and social norms in each masque.