안녕하세요 여러분! Hello everyone!
So for my senior presentation I had to do for school, I decided to do my topic on Korean traditional hanboks. Today, exactly one year ago, is the day I left for South Korea. So let me share my love of South Korea and the Korean culture, and inform you.. Below are all the information on the different components of the Korean 한복 I composed ( and also pictures that go along with them).
*Note: Quite of few of the pictures are of actors and actresses from various historical Korean dramas.
Korean Traditional Hanboks
The hanbok is the traditional dress of North and South Korea. In North Korea, however, it is called 조선옷 instead of hanbok. The history of the hanbok dates back as far as the Three Kingdoms’ Period (57 B.C.-668 A.D.). In the olden days, the attire differed according to the wearer’s gender, class, profession, social status, and season.
For example-In the summertime, the 양반/yangban (which were members of the highest social class during the Joseon Dynasty) wore hanboks made of ramie, and commoners wore hanboks made of hemp.In the wintertime, the 양반/yangban wore hanboks made of silk and satin, while the commoners wore hanboks made of cotton.
There are two main components of the Korean hanbok. For men, the hanbok is composed of the upper jacket known as 저고리/jeogori and pants known as 바지/baji.
For women, the hanbok is composed of the 저고리/jeogori and the skirt known as 치마/chima.
Korean hanboks are colored by using natural dyes. The colors of nature are imbued in the cloth. For example: to obtain a red color, one would ground red flower petals in a mortar, then put the grounded petals in a jar, and later rinse them with hot caustic soda.
flower petals in a mortar
The colors used to make the 저고리/jeogori and 치마/chima depended on the wearer’s social status. Royalty, court officials, and the upper class wore bright colored hanboks, while commoners wore light earth colored hanboks such as white, pale pink, light green, and charcoal.
bright colored hanboks
light earth colored hanboks
Symbolism of Colors:
The aesthetic elements of the hanbok embody the Korean sense of beauty. The aesthetic framework is based on the Korean preference for naturalness, desire for supernatural protection and blessings, and the Confucian-style dress code. Traditional hanboks boasted the vivid colors based on the basic hues that correspond with the five elements of the yin and yang theory: metal, fire, wood, water, and earth.Therefore, the main colors worn were commonly white (metal), red (fire), blue (wood), black (water), and yellow (earth).
Koreans often wore white regardless of status, because of its symbolism for purity and modesty. The color white also accentuates the black hair of the Korean people.
The color red symbolizes good fortune and wealth, thus it was often used for women’s wedding garments.
The color black symbolizes infinity and the fountainhead of all creation. Black was often used for men’s hats.
The color yellow represents the center of the universe, which was often worn by royalty.
The color gold symbolizes the emperor, so back then the general public was not allowed to wear gold colored hanboks.
The color indigo symbolizes constancy, which was often used for the skirts of court ladies and coats of court officials.
Young unmarried women wore yellow 저고리/jeogori and red 치마/chima prior to marriage to show their maidenhood, and married women wore green 저고리/jeogori and red 치마/chima after their weddings and when paying their respects to the in-laws.
Patterns were primarily used to enhance the beauty of Korean hanboks.Plant, animal, and other nature patterns were often added to the rim of the 치마/chima and the areas around the shoulder.
Patterns were also used to represent the wearer’s wishes:
Peonies embroidered on a bridal gown represented a wish for honor and wealth.
Lotus flowers represented a wish for nobility.
Bats and pomegranates represented a wish for children.
An axe-shaped pendant represented a pregnant woman’s wish for a son.
Chinese characters embroidered on hanboks such as 복,회, and 수 were used to represent a wish for (복) good fortune, (회) happiness, and (수) a long life.
Dragons, phoenixes, cranes, and tigers symbolized royalty and high-ranking officials.
The other components of the Korean hanbok include the hairstyles, headgear, accessories, overcoats and vests, 동정(dongjeong)/white collar, 깃 (git)/the fabric that trims the collar, 끝동 (ggeutdong)/cuffs, 고름 (goreum)/coat strings, 옷고름 (ot-goreum)/the bow formed from the coat strings, 속옷 (sogot)/undergarments, 버선 (beoseon/white socks that were worn by everyone regardless of social status and gender, and shoes.
The white collar above is the 동정/dongjeong and the fabric trimming the collar is the 깃/git.
The purple cuffs of the sleeves above are the 끝동/ggeutdong.
These pictures are an illustration on how to make the coat strings/ribbon known as 고름/goreum into the pretty knot known as 옷고름/ot-goreum.
The white socks known as 버선/beoseon.
Hairstyles for Men:
Men only had two types of hairstyles to choose from while wearing traditional hanboks. The first is known as 상투/sangtu (topknot), which is when one brings the hair to the top of the head and ties it into a knot. A pin known as 동곳/donggot holds the 상투/sangtu together. The second is to wear the hair loose. 상투/sangtu, however, was more commonly worn than loose hair back then.
The pin known as 동곳/donggot holds the 상투/sangtu together.
Headgear for Men:
Men had a multitude of headgear. The most common headgear worn by men was 갓/gat. 갓/gat is a hat made of horse hair that was used to protect the 상투/sangtu and represent the rank of the person wearing it. Underneath the 갓 , men wore 망건/manggeon , a headband worn to keep the hair from falling. Attached to the 망건/manggeon are a pair of small buttons called 관자/gwanja (ring-shaped) or pyeongjam (crescent-shaped). And sometimes, men wore 탕건/tanggeon, a type of sheer hat-which could have also been solely worn indoors.
The headband known as 망건/manggeon.
관자/gwanja (ring-shaped buttons)
The sheer hat known as 탕건/tanggeon.
사모/samo is a hat worn with dalleyong,gwanbok, or cheollik by high ranking officials. It is now used for grooms’ headgear.
복건/bokgeon is a headdress made of black fabric that was worn by Confucian scholars and later on, by young boys.
흑립/heukrip is a type of 갓 that was worn by 양반/yangban (the upper class), which is usually smaller in size than the traditional 갓/gat.
패랭이/paeraengi is a hat made of bamboo, which was worn by commoners.
삿갓/satgat is a conical-shaped hat made of straw, which was commonly worn by farmers and monks.
벙거지/beunggeoji also known as 전립/jeonrip is a special type of hat for military personnel, which was styled according to the wearer’s rank.
*Look up more on men headgear
Hairstyles for Women:
Unlike men, women had plenty of ways to wear their hair. The most common hairstyle is known as 댕기머리/daengi-meori, which is a style worn only by unmarried women. The hair is made into a braid and a large ribbon is attached to the end of the braid.
Married woman wore 쪽진머리/jjokjin-meori. The hair is brought to the back of the head and tied into a bun. The bun is held and fastened together by a pin.
Married women sometimes wore 얹은머리/eonjeun-meori. Instead of the bun being on the back of the head like the 쪽진머리/jjokjin-meori hairstyle, the bun “rests” on the top of the head. Women used to use real hair to make the bun fuller and more impressive, but using real hair was heavy on the head, expensive, and even caused neck injury and death. A wig known as 가체/gache was later used to make the bun. 가체/gache was expensive so many women could not afford to wear this hairstyle, but 얹은머리/eonjeun-meori was still more popular among the 기생/gisaeng, female entertainers or [sometimes] prostitutes.
Queens, kings’ wives, and queen mothers wore a hairstyle known as 어여머리/eoyeo-meori. The hairstyle mainly consists of wigs such as 다래/darae, which is made into a thick braid and secured on the top of the head.
큰머리/keun-meori is the same as 어여머리/eoyeo-meori, but atop of the 큰머리/keun-meori is a large addition called 떠구지/ddeoguji,which was added for emphasis. 떠구지/ddeoguji was also made of human hair, but was later replaced with wood because of its heavy weight.
Along with the hanbok and hairstyles are accessories. 댕기/daenggi is the large decorative ribbon that ties the end of the braid and is commonly worn with the 댕기머리/daenggi-meori hairstyle (hence the 댕기/daenggi in 댕기머리/daenggi-meori).
배씨댕기/baess[h]i-daenggi is a thin, cloth-like or soft material stuffed into colored cloth that could be worn atop of the head with 댕기머리/daenggi-meori.
비녀/binyeo is the pin that holds the bun of the 쪽진머리/jjokjin-meori hairstyle together. 비녀/binyeo could be made from wood, bronze, silver, gold, jade, bamboo, or animal bones.
Other accessories that could be worn with the 쪽진머리/jjokjin-meori hairstyle are 뒤꽂이/dwikkoji and 첩지/cheobji. 뒤꽂이/dwikkoji is a smaller accessory added onto the hair as decoration and 첩지/cheobji is a rod-like hairpin used to fasten the knotted hair. 첩지/cheobji is made of metal such as silver and is in shape of a dragon, phoenix, frog, duck, peacock, or flowers.
Additional ribbon and round-shaped ornaments known as 떨잠/ddeoljam were added to the braid of the 어여머리/eoyeo-meori and 큰머리/keun-meori hairstyles to create a more luxurious look. The ornaments also depicted the wearer’s rank and position.
노리개/norigae is a common accessory worn on the Korean hanbok. It is tied to the 고름/goreum ,the coat strings, or the waist of the skirt to give the hanbok a more luxurious look. There are many types of 노리개/norigae,but the most popular are 삼작노리개/samjang-norigae,a pendant with three ornaments, and 단작노리개/danjang-norigae, a pendent with one ornament.
은장도/eunjangdo is a silver knife worn as a 노리개/norigae worn for self-defense. Sometimes it holds chopsticks, so the wearer knows the chopsticks are safe from any type of poisoning. It is worn by both men and women.
부채/buchae is a Korean hand fan.
각대/gakdae is a belt worn by high ranking officials.
Headgear for Women:
Women also had a variety of headgear. In the wintertime, women wore a variety of caps such as 남바위/nambawi, 조바위/jobawi, 풍차/pungcha, and 아얌/ayam in order to keep their head warm.
A 남바위/nambawi is a unisex winter cap that covers the forehead, upper neck, and ears.
A 조바위/jobawi is a winter cap for women that is open at the top and rounded at the sides to fully covers the ears.
A 풍차/pungcha is a unisex winter cap that is open at the top and is similar in shape with the 남바위/nambawi. The 풍차/pungcha does not cover the top of the head, but fully covers the forehead, back of the head, ears as well as the cheeks –in which the 불끼/bulggi is attached to both sides of the ears of the cap.
An 아얌/ayam is a winter cap worn by women that does not cover the ears, and is sometimes lined with fur. A long ribbon known as 아얌드림/ayam-dream hangs on the back of the cap, and is sometimes decorated with jade or amber.
Some of the other headgear women wore are 전모/jeonmo, 족두리/jokduri, 화관/hwagwan , 장옷/jang-ot, and 쓰개치마/sseugae-chima.
A 전모/jeonmo is a hat made of bamboo and paper or cloth that was worn with the 얹은머리/eonjeun-meori hairstyle when women went outside. I personally think the 전모/jeonmo is the prettiest out of all the headgears. 전모 제일 좋아요.
족두리/jokduri and 화관/hwagwan are two traditional crowns worn with ceremonial attire. 족두리/jokduri is a type of crown worn by women to complete a ceremonial dress. 족두리/jokduri is usually worn with 원삼/wonsam (see below), a bride’s topcoat that was usually worn by royalty, queens, and court ladies. The top of the crown is adorned with hard paper and cotton filling covered with silk and a cloisonné <kloy-zoh-nay> ornament.
화관/hwagwan is another type of crown worn by women to complete a ceremonial dress. 화관 ,however, was considered more lavish than 족두리/jokduri. It is adorned with butterfly ornaments, five-colored beads, and gold thread. 화관/hwagwan was usually worn with 활옷/hwarot (see below in Ceremonial/Royal Dress), which is a type of bridal topcoat usually reserved for royal women and princesses, or 당의/dangui (see below in Ceremonal/Royal Dress), which is another type of upper garment worn by queens, queen mothers, princesses, and court ladies during ceremonial occasions. 당의/dangui is usually worn on top of the 저고리/jeogori.
장옷/jang-ot and 쓰개치마/sseugae-chima are two types of veils women wore over their head to cover their head, face, and body. 장옷/jang-ot is similar to 저고리/jeogori and 쓰개치마/sseugae-chima is made like a regular 치마/chima,but 장옷/jang-ot is longer and has a collar, and 쓰개치마/sseugae-chima is a little bit shorter and narrower than the regular 치마/chima.
Overcoats and Vests:
Overcoats and vests were often worn over the hanbok for various reasons.
두루마기/durumagi is an overcoat that was commonly worn by 양반/yangban as a housecoat or by commoners as an outdoor coat. Woman also wore 두루마기/durumagi during special occasions.
포/po is an overcoat that was worn by scholars as their daily garment and by government officers while they were out for private business.
마고자/magoja is an outer jacket with long sleeves worn to keep the Korean people warm from the cold weather. It is made of silk and is decorated with one or two buttons that are usually made of amber. 마고자/magoja was originally only worn by men, but later became an unisex garment. Underneath the 마고자/magoja is a thin vest known as 조끼/jokki.
배자/baeja is a sleeveless outer vest worn by both men and women.
There were many types of shoes that were worn with Korean traditional hanboks.
꽃신/kkotshin are silk shoes with flower embroidery.
짚신/jipshin are sandals made from straw that were worn by commoners, servants, and people going out on outings.
미투리/mituri are a type of hemp sandals worn by noblemen /양반 yangban.
나막신/namangshin are wooden clogs worn to protect one’s feet from the mud and rain. It was worn by Koreans of all social positions during the rainy season.
혜/hye are low cut shoes that are similar to modern day loafers, and there are many variations of 혜/hye.
운혜/unhye (oon-hye) are a type of women’s 혜/hye made of silk and decorated with colorful silk in the shape of clouds.
당혜/danghye are a type of women’s made from leather that are decorated with scroll decoration.
태사혜/taesahye are a type of men’s 혜/hye made from animal skins with scroll decoration and lined with silk on the inside. 양반/yangban ,however, were the only men able to afford 태사혜/taesahye.
흑혜/heukhye are a type of men’s 혜made from leather and fleece commonly worn by officials, scholars, and 양반/yangban as daily wear. They were usually black in color and one of the most common footwear after 짚신/jipshin.
화/hwa are the general term for boots, which were made from leather or velvet and are usually black in color. They were worn by guards, government officers, court members, and people who had an active lifestyle.
Royalty had their own kind of dress. There was also a separate attire for special ceremonies.
Like I said earlier, 활옷/hwarot, which is a type of bridal topcoat usually reserved for royal women and princesses. Not only was it worn with 화관/hwagwan, but also 앞댕기/ap-daenggi (a type of daenggi that is paired and worn in the front), 도투락댕기/doturak-daenggi (a wider silk daenggi that is hung from the crown in the back),용잠/yongjam (a long hairpin/rod that has a dragon’s head at the end), and 대대/daedae (red colored silk sash with gold pattern worn around the waist and tied to the back of the 활옷/hwarot.
원삼/Wonsam is another type of bridal topcoat made by silk worn by royalty, noble women, and high ranking court ladies. during ceremonies. Commoners were allowed to wear 원삼/Wonsam. The color of the 원삼/Wonsam, however, depicted the wearer’s rank. For example, the color gold/yellow was worn by empresses, red by queens, magenta by princess consorts and concubines, and green by princesses and the wives of 양반/yangban. Commoners also wore green, but they were only allowed to wear green for their wedding ceremonies.
당의/Dangui is another type of upper garment worn by queens, queen mothers, princesses, and court ladies during ceremonial occasions. The only difference between the 당의/dangui of royalty and court ladies is the gold pattern on royalty’s 당의/dangui (and on the 치마/chima) known as 금박/geumbak (which could only be worn by royalty). 당의/dangui is usually worn on top of the 저고리/jeogori.
홍룡포/Hongryongpo is the everyday clothes decorated by gold patterns that was worn by the king. 홍룡포/Hongryongpo is red, because back then the King was not allowed to wear gold due to the Chinese’s influence. It was worn with a hat known as 익선관/ikseongwan and 각대/gakdae (belt-look above in Accessories). Fun fact: When the Chinese was weakened politically, King Kojong changed his title from King to Emperor in 1897, thus he started to wear 황포/hwangpo (emperor’s every day clothes that was gold).
철릭/Cheollik is a type of clothing worn by kings, military officials, and other various officers which is usually worn with 사모samo or 전립/jeonrip (look above in Headgear for Men).
In today’s age, Korean hanboks are more modern and simplified.They are now worn based on the wearer’s personal taste and style, and not according to the wearer’s class, profession, or social class like in the olden days.Korean hanboks are now only worn during special holidays, festivities, certain birthdays, weddings, special anniversaries, and special events-such as 추석/Chuseok, 설날/Seollal, a child’s 1st birthday, and an adult’s 60th birthday.
However, hanboks are still the casual wear in villages or districts where the traditional ways of life are maintained such as Cheonghak-dong on Mount Jirisan.There are also historical sights and museums such as the Korean Folk Village and Gyeongbokgung Palace in South Korea in which workers wear traditional Korean hanboks and give visitors insight on the Korean traditional way of life.
Even though traditional Korean hanboks are not as commonly worn as they were before, they are still a way for those like myself to show pride and embrace their Korean heritage.