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Date : 14-05-30 11:21
[notice] Museums & Memorials - The National Folk Museum of Korea
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Museums & Memorials - The National Folk Museum of Korea 


The National Folk Museum of Korea displays the culture and folk history of the Korean people from 
prehistoric times to the end of the Joseon Dynasty. The museum is situated in the precinct of 
Gyeongbokgung (Palace) which is a typical palace of the Joseon Dynasty. It holds a variety of 
seasonal exhibitions and events each year alongside a permanent exhibition. Each year more than 
two million visitors come to visit and explore the roots of the Korean life style.

Established in 1945 as the National Museum of Ethnology, the current museum building was 
remodeled and reopened as the National Folk Museum of Korea in 1993. Since its establishment 
the museum has dedicated itself to studying and researching the folk history of Korea, and 
collecting artifacts from different Korean regions in order to pass on an insight into the lifestyle and 
culture of Koreans. The museum achieves this by offering visitors various seminars, exhibitions, 
performance art, concerts and hands-on activities. Thus, visiting the National Museum of Korea is a 
gateway to a deep understanding of the life and culture of the Koreans people.

Experiencing traditional Korean culture

Located inside Gyeongbokgung (Palace), the National Folk Museum of Korea is constructed in the 
traditional Korean style comprising several stories with a pagoda on top. The three main exhibition 
halls at the museum cover different aspects of Korean life, as well as displaying various local 
costumes, musical instruments and festivals.

A view of a children’s museum next to the main museum

Exhibition Hall 1 : History of Korean People

Exhibition Hall 1 showcases the folk history and culture of Korean people through displays of 
everyday objects from pre-historic times to the present. The exhibition is divided into 4 categories 
chronicling the history of everyday life in Korea; exploring a range of topics such as how humans 
relate to nature, and enjoy culture, to territorial expansion.

Exhibition Hall 1
Exhibition Hall 2: Korean Way of Life

Exhibition Hall 2 displays agricultural life during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). By looking at a 
range of traditional objects such as a spinning wheel, tableware, ceremonial and decorative items, 
visitors can imagine Korea in the past. The hall has successfully reproduced a marketplace as a 
place social gathering, with businesses, entertainment, and festivals going on. The exhibition also 
illustrates traditional village life revolving around the cycle of seasons.

The Exhibition Hall 2

Exhibition Hall 3: Life cycle of Koreans

Exhibition Hall 3 illustrates the life cycle of Koreans from birth to death in the Joseon Dynasty. The 
exhibition displays Korean social idealism and traditional costumes by tracing an upper class man’s 
life. The show allows visitors to learn about the key role of upper class men and women in relation 
to their family and household affairs, as well as showing their functions in society. There are on 
display many examples of social and cultural ceremonies directly reflecting the common law and 
state ideology of Koreans such as : The first born son’s obligations (carrying on the family line and 
living with his parents); Samnunsang, the tradition of mourning for three years after your parents 
have passed away, ancestral rites and so on. There is also information on birth and death 
ceremonies and rites.

The outdoor exhibition

There are displays in the outdoor exhibition area at the museum that show an exact duplicate of a 
1970’s Korean market street, with a café, barber shop, and comic book shop. This gives visitors a 
vivid image of a city street in 1970’s Korea, and its development.

Arts and crafts classes

A view of visitors attending a traditional knotting class

The museum allows visitors to have a real experience of Korean cultural life through various 
educational programs. There are two main courses, craft making classes and traditional performing 
arts classes which are open to anyone who wants to attend. It gives visitors a chance to gain a 
better understanding of Korean traditions, and the classes are great fun.

A children’s museum

There is a children’s museum next to the National Folk Museum of Korea. The museum gives 
children a great opportunity to attend various hands-on activities related to traditional Korean 
culture. It appeals to children with various model toys and miniatures, as well as films and videos 
aimed at making them understand and value the past. Setting up Charye-sang (an ancestor 
memorial service table) and Dol-sang (traditional first birthday party table), and dressing up a doll in 
traditional costume and the Gonu game (similar to chess) are the most popular hands-on activities 
for children.

A view of the children’s museum exhibition hall

Traditional performing arts

An exhibition of traditional performing arts is held every weekend in order to introduce aspects of 
Korean cultural heritage and traditional Korean culture to visitors. There are two main types of 
performance, a Saturday performance and seasonal open performances (in spring and autumn).

Saturday performance: January to December 3:00 pm on every SaturdaySunday open performance: April to June and September to October 2:00 on every Sunday

The main lobby of the museum

An exhibition of the traditional wedding ceremony with modeling dummies

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