Friday, November 19, 2010

Honouring the Hanbok

Most Asian cultures have the most beautiful traditional clothing, especially for women. Almost everyone has seen a picture of an incredible Japanese woman in a Kimono dress which has the long sleeves and amazing patterns not many have seen the traditional clothing worn by Koreans, which is Hanbok.

Hanbok literally means Korean clothing but nowadays when something is referred to as Hanbok it almost always refers to the traditional clothing that was created during the Joseon Dynasty.

Like Kimono, Hanbok clothing is available for men, women and children. It is also generally made in very bright colours and is worn on special occasions, like weddings.

A Hanbok dress is different to a Kimono dress in many ways, most notably the cut of the dress. The Kimono is generally more tight-fitting where as the Hanbok dress flares out from straight under the bosom.

I know I have been referring to the dress as a Hanbok dress...but the actually a combination of a Jeogori which is the small jacket like item and the Chima which is the skirt like section of the dress.

There is so much history to this clothing. During the Joseon Dynasty and beyond different colours were symbolic of the different status or positions people held in society. The wealthy wore bright, extravagant colours where as commoners, by law, were only allowed to wear white Hanboks.

A young performer at the Andong Mask Dance Festival

At the Lotus Lantern Festival

Hanbok is elegant and beautiful and every festival we have ever been to we have seen woman, men, and children walking around in this amazing apparel. Many know of Chinese and Japanese garments and the Korean Hanbok is often forgotten about despite its beauty and unique history, so here is a brief tribute to the traditional clothing of this proud and cultured nation!

Post by Claudia


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