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CULTURE
Cultural Assets
Fork Games
Fork Games
 
Galpulsseoli | Sasiraengi | Log Bridge | Wild Boar Hunting | A-frame Carrier Fighting
 
History
GalpulsseoliIn ancient times, many fire-field farmers moved into the deep mountains of Taebaek. In the course of societal change from nomadic slash-and-burn agriculture to a settled collective farming society, in the absence of fertilizer compost became to sole method for improving the fertility of the land. Taebaek Galpulsseoli was held in the seventh month of the lunar year, before the harvest season. During this event, villagers collectively prepared compost, visiting each house in turn. To this end, they brought two- or three-year-old plants and made them compost by cutting them with a straw cutter. In this process, the leader of the villagers, known as the pulasi, would make comic and humorous sounds to amuse the workers, thereby increasing the harmony and unity amongst the group, and in turn boosting productivity. In time this became a folk game of this region. Even though many people who hold this talent have now passed away, but are still people who know how to perform this game.
 
Details
Galpulsseoli games are usually held between the sixth lunar month and the beginning of the harvest. First, people cut gil plants, which grow alongside village roads. Then they gather in front of the seonghwangdang where they prayed for the wellbeing and happiness of the villagers. After that they set a date to cut the plants, and also decide which house at start at. In general between 20 and 30 people work at each house in turn. Plants to be cut are usually between two and three years old. Mountainsides where plants are cut will be excluded from this event for the next two or three years. One person usually works seven or eight jims a day, 4 of them in the morning. When cutting galpul plants, people are divided into two groups. For example, if twenty people work together, to begin the work, each of the twenty carries one jim of plants. Then eight people cut those plants with a cutter, and the remaining twelve collect plants until the afternoon, thereby securing a total of 100 jim (8∥10 tons) of compost. Another method is that twenty people collect four jim in the morning, and in the afternoon, sixteen people cut the plants using two cutters, and the remaining four people still collect four jim of plants. Regardless of which method is used, the end result is that 100 jim of plants. If thirty people can work in a group, this figure rises to 150 jim. In that case, thirty people each collect two jim of plants in the morning. Then sixteen of them cut the plants using two cutters, and the remaining fourteen collect six more jim of plants until nightfall. What is important here is that when cutting plants, they sing songs. The words of the songs are very humorous. These words are the key of the game of galpulsseoli, and they also have high literature value as functional working songs. These songs are performed by everyone involved in the game, thereby making the work harmonious and smooth. Here our ancestors show their wisdom in finding ways to make hard work light using humor and satire. They were also very careful to divide workers up according to their individual strengths. When pulasi (those who carry plants) starts a song, jakdukkuns (those who cut plants) know that plants are coming and sing answering songs. In that case, they try not to spare their energy, so they loosen their working speed, which balances their strength. The pulasi's songs are answered by jakdukkuns with laughter, thereby making the event that much more fun. The food on this day is lavishly provided. People get together to drink and eat. Upon completing all the hard work of galpulsseolgi, the strongest men in the village engage in ssirum wrestling contests to show that they still habe lots of energy. Villagers add to fun by beating drums, jangos and kkoenggari. The winner of the contest is then carried about in a palanquin as a sign of everyone's appreciation for his hard work
 
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