Pongsan mask dance, folk dance of Korean nation

Pongsan Mask Dance

Mask dance, one of the folk dances of the Korean nation, has a long history.

Typical is the Pongsan mask dance named after the area of Pongsan in North Hwanghae Province as it was developed in this region. This dance is characterized by diverse and idiosyncratic movements and jests.

The Pongsan mask dance had been destined to become extinct due to the Japanese imperialists' policy of obliterating national culture during their colonial rule over Korea.

But the dance could be preserved as a precious national cultural heritage thanks to President Kim Il Sung. He saw to it that the Pongsan mask dance was displayed on the first stage of art performance held in Juche 35 (1946), the next year after Korea's liberation from Japan's colonial rule, and gave an instruction to further perfect the dance. Later, he took steps to form a society for preserving the Pongsan mask dance and produce a documentary film on the dance for its eternal preservation.

True to the President's noble intention, Chairman Kim Jong Il gave guidance to excellently perfecting the documentary film "Pongsan Mask Dance" as required by the reality. Visiting Unjong-ri of Pongsan County in June 2003, the Chairman enjoyed the Pongsan mask dance performed by its farmers and gave an instruction to encourage the folk dance.

The National Folk Art Troupe represented the Pongsan mask dance in a peculiar way under the guidance of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un showing deep care for the protection and development of national cultural heritages.

In the DPRK, a TV drama was produced with a story about the then people who shed tears of blood to protect the Pongsan mask dance in the period of Japan's colonial rule over Korea. The drama shows the idea that the soul of the nation could be defended only by the great leader.

(KCNA - May 14, 2020)

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