Hahoe means "The Village Encircled by the River"
and the village
is protected by the Nakdong River and T'abaeksan Mountain Range. A "kut" is a shamanistic rite performed to exorcise evil
1928, the Hahoe Pyolshin-gut was performed every ten years between
New Year's Day and the January full moon or when misfortune struck
the village. The famous mask dance was a part of this ritual. Because
the play was performed for the edification of the spirits rather than
humans, only male actors were used. All villagers, including the
aristocratic Yangban, paid for the performances although members
of the upper classes would not have attended the plays in which they
were ridiculed. Nine of twelve original Hahoe masks dating back
to the Koryo dynasty, designated National Treasure No. 121, are on
display in the National Museum in Seoul.