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Festival on the Paesu(浿水) and Myth in Goguryeo(高句麗)

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2015, (118), pp.5-42
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Na, Hee-Ra 1

1경남과학기술대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

According to the biography of Goguryeo in 『Suseo(隋書)』, the Goguryeo people, including the king, celebrated several rites at Paesu(浿水) side at the beginning of every year. In this festival, the king contacted with water by the medium of the clothes and the congregator, dividing into both sides, did mimic battle. These rites was not the individual elements but the integrant elements that continued the whole ritual. When new times began, it was the most important that the vitality of the king to take responsibility for the welfare was renewed. The king contacted with water by his clothes. This was the rite that purified from the impurity and got the sacred power of water. So the king obtained the power to govern the new world in new time. The expansion of these meaning was doing the mimic battle. Many people were divided into two opposing group and did battle. They thought that they got the vitality of their community renewed and the new order restored by doing this battle and driving out the bad. Therefore the festival at the Paesu was the ritual for royal authority and the public ritual. This ritual was reflected in their myth on the foundation of a state, such as mythical birth of the founder after the battle between the sun-god and the water-god and foundation of a state after the battle between the founder side and Buyeo army. Goguryeo people reenacted the events of their foundation myth in the public festival at the river. It not only renewed the vitality of the king and the community but also reminded the people of the greatness and legitimacy of foundation of the state.

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