Permanent Exhibition
How did the Koreans of the past live in this land of beautiful mountains and rivers?
Exhibition Hall I explores the diverse wisdom of our predecessors through their daily living culture, part of which has passed down to us, from Samsin halmoni, the triple goddess who looked after the birth and health of a child, to the 60th wedding anniversary, which was considered the most honored celebration a lifetime, and the four major rites of passage (coming-of-age, marriage, funeral, and veneration of ancestors), which have been observed since the Goryeo Dynasty.
Life-cycle of Koreans
Most people go through various stages in life—they are born, reach adulthood, many enter marriage if they find a suitable spouse, and all must eventually pass away. Koreans of the past celebrated these special moments in life and performed rituals to counter evil spirits. Men celebrated their coming-of-age when they turned 20 through a capping ceremony (gwallye), while women celebrated theirs at 15 with a hair-pinning ceremony (gyerye), got a recognition of the transition into adulthood. Wedding ceremonies were held to signify the harmonization of a man and woman into a family. When someone passed away, the bereaved family observed a three-year mourning period. Rites were also performed to venerate the ancestors and to wish for the progeny’s well-being and prosperity.
Clothing Traditions
Koreans have pursued lives based on the virtues of courtesy and formality, placing great importance on attire and headgear since these were considered a means of displaying one’s nature. This section explores traditional Korean dress through fabrics and dyes obtained from nature, including hemp and ramie.
Food Culture
Korea developed a unique culinary culture in accordance with the region’s climate characterized by four distinct seasons. People enjoyed dishes prepared with ingredients that were in season (sisik), fermented dishes, local dishes, and dishes designated for each of the 24 days marking the divisions of the year according to the traditional lunar calendar (jeolsik). Ceremonial occasions such as the rites of passage were observed with special foods as well. With increased economic prosperity, the range of available foods expanded beyond the basic meal components of rice and soup to include foods inspired by ritual culture, such as rice cakes, confectionaries, alcoholic beverages, and tea.
Housing Culture
The structure and form of the traditional houses of Korea were designed to complement their surroundings. Houses were built with materials easily obtained in nature, such as wood and clay, and with features appropriate to the climate. Summer and winter were respectively accommodated with wooden flooring, known as maru, and a floor heating system, known as ondol. Moreover, the modest household objects offer a glimpse into the wisdoms of the Koreans of the past.
Passage Through In Old Korea
01 Birth
02 Growing up
03 Marriage
04 Job & 60th Birthday Anniversary
05 Funerals & Burials
06 Family shrine & Ritual vessels
07 Ancestral ceremonies
08 Painting Depicting a Man’s Life
Dietary Life
09 Dish & Spoon
10 Local Food
11 Lunch Box
12 Rice & Kimchi
13 Table setting
14 Rice cake & Cookies
15 Kitchen utensils
16 Kitchen & Pantry
Living Life
17 Main Room for women
18 Main Floored Room
19 Reception Room for male guests
20 Household Item
Clothing and Personal Ornaments
21 Korean Traditional Color
22 Black & White
23 Blue & Red
24 Underwear
25 Hats
26 Shoes & Personal ornaments
27 Weaving Tools
28 Nature Material
AM 10:00 ~ PM 5:30 (Entrance closes at PM 4:30)
123, Chungmu-ro, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do, Republic of Korea