Hahoe Folk Village , or in korean 안동하회마을 is a traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty. It is located in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk. The village holds an important value for Korean culture and history and is listed as one of the World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
The clan that used to live in this village was the Ryu clan of Pungsan. The village preserves the old traditions of clan-based village and architecture style from Joseon era. The village is also known as the birthplace of famous scholars such as Gyeongmam Ryu Un Ryong and Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong.
Walking around the village somehow brought me the vision of how the people during Joseon era lived. Inside the thatched roofs, the traditional interior is well-preserved. During my visit there, there was an old grandfather demonstrated the making of traditional basket. He was nice enough to take picture with people too…
Another unique thing about the village is that the aristocrats lived together with the commoners. The largest home can be distinguished from its large tile-roofed, is located in the middle of the houses with thatched roofs.
Upon entering the village, I noticed there are masks displayed around, carved in different facial expressions. These masks are used in the dramatic mask dance and shamanistic rituals which is the special tradition from the village. The tradition is to poke fun of the yangban and apostate monks and a way to relieve some of the oppression of the hierarchical society through satire. Visitors can see the mask dance performance in the month of January.
Towards the exit, there are Korean traditional games such as the seesaw or Neolttwigi and the swings. I tried the seesaw, but although it’s a girls’ game, it is challenging for me. You have to synchronise your jump with your partner. As for the swings, it is slightly different from the normal swing in which we sit down. Koreans stand up while swinging.
What impress me the most is the scenery surrounding the village. The village is located just next to the Nakdong River, where we can see the magnificent Buyongdae Cliff.
And if you come in spring, don’t miss the chance of walking in between cherry blossom trees