Hanbok Accessories

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      Traditional Korean clothing including the hanbok is deeply rooted in Korean culture. Very elegant, many consider the hanbok as a work of art and they are right! If when we talk about the hanbok, we often think about the chima skirt and the jeogori jacket for women, we often omit the accessories of the hanbok. And yet these accessories are far from being accessory because they are an integral part of the traditional outfit that is the hanbok! Among these accessories there are: hats and headdresses, hair accessories such as hairpins, pendants or brooches. Very important too: shoes and fans! Let's discover all these hanbok accessories together now.

      Hats and Headdresses, Essential Accessories for Hanbok

      Nambawi is a winter headdress made of leather, lined with fur and trimmed with silk or other fabric on the outside, covering the forehead, ears, neck and part of the back. It could be worn by both women and men, putting it over another headdress. 

      Hanbok hats for men

      • Samo was the headdress of a Joseon-era government official, which was worn on duty and in official settings.
      • Kat is the hat of the Korean nobility made of horsehair, which was worn only by adult men who had passed the rite of coming of age.
      • Pokkon is the headdress of an underage man, which was especially often worn by students. so far I have not found anything to illustrate it. I will add it when I find it, since I am also interested.
      • Hogon is a type of the pokkon headdress made in the form of a tiger's head. There were also kids versions of this korean hat.

      Hanbok hats for women

      • Chokturi is a female headdress in the form of a crown made of black silk with a frame made of thick paper, lined with cotton and decorated with various decorative details on top. It was worn together with the wohnsam dress.
      • Hwagwan is another type of women's headdress, which outwardly resembles chokturi, but is more pompous. It was worn on especially solemn occasions. The hwagwan is usually decorated with figures in the form of butterflies and flowers made of gold and multicolored beads.
      • Chobawi is a woman's winter headdress of black silk with an open crown, covering the forehead and ears and rounded at the cheeks. It is decorated with jewels and gold embroidery, and small tassels on the front and back.
      • Ayam is a woman's furry winter headdress, covering the ears, to which a long train is attached at the back, usually made of black or burgundy cloth, embroidered with colorful stones.

      Hanbok hats for kids

      Kulle is a winter hat for children from 1 to 4-5 years old. The winter kulle is made of black silk, and the variant for the warmer seasons is made of a thinner material of bright colors. At the back it is decorated with a long ribbon.

      An interesting fact: Until the 19th century, noble women and kisaeng wore kachkhe wigs. The largest size of the wig was considered the most beautiful and majestic. Due to the increasing number of wigs, the government of King Jeonjo banned them in 1788. Because of their opulent appearance, they were considered contrary to Korean Confucian values of restraint and modesty. Deprived of wigs, Yangban women then started to wear chokturi hats, but kisaeng continued to wear kachkhe until the end of the century.

      Head Ornaments for Hanbok : Hairpins and Pendants

      Jewelry in Korea had a special ritual character. A girl's hairstyle and hairpin could be used to tell whether or not she was married, her social status, her status in society, her occupation, her age, and so on. There are different types of jewelry, which are usually divided into jewelry for the head, belt and hands. Let’s see the head ornaments !

      Korean women decorated their hairstyles with hairpins, which originated in the primitive period. Hairpins not only complemented the image, but also were very practical and convenient hairpin, thanks to which they were fixed twisted hair in a bun. Hairpins could be big and small. Large hairpins were worn by members of the royal family and court ladies at ceremonies, as well as brides at weddings. Hairpins themselves were made of precious metals: gold and silver. They could also use brass, bamboo, wood and bone. They were decorated with nephrite, pearls, malachite, coral. Hairpins were also divided into ponjam (a hairpin with the image of a phoenix), renjam (with the image of a dragon), mech-jukjam (with the image of plum and bamboo stems), mokjam (magnolia flowers) and others.

      Here are some of the most popular head ornaments, back in the day :

      • Pinyo is a hairpin to secure a hairstyle or headdress. The pinyo was also one of the signs by which a woman's social status and class could be determined. There are many kinds of pinot, different in size and design. For the solemn events were pinot length of 35-40 and sometimes 50 cm, because the formal hairstyles of the noble ladies were distinguished by the splendor until the beginning of the XX century. A famous Russian scholar and zoologist P.Y. Schmidt who visited Korea in 1900 noted that "the ladies of the court arranged themselves absolutely incredible hairstyles, wreathing whole wooden rims in their hair and decorating their heads with metal pins that were almost inches long". In everyday life, hair was pinned with pins 11-15 cm long. Often, especially among commoners, they were pinyos of modest appearance with a small tetrahedral head, called minjam (min from minjun "people").
      • Chopchi was a hairpin used by women of the royal family and ladies of the court for their hairstyles or to secure their headdresses. Usually it was used to pinned hair on especially solemn occasions. The most common decoration was made of silver in the form of a frog or other animal.
      • Tengi is a hair ribbon. There were several kinds of tengi of different shapes and colors - aptengi, dottetengi, koitengi, etc.

      The Norige Pendant : A Unisex Hanbok Accessory

      Norige is the main decoration for the belt. It was made of silver and gold, jade, amber. Decorated with precious stones. It consisted of a ring, braid, decoration, ties and fringe. It could be single, triple, quintuple and so on, but mostly it was triple. Norige was also divided into large, medium and small. Big triple norige was worn by queens and wives of high-ranking officials during ceremonies. The medium triple norige was worn for small ceremonies and rituals. The small triple norige was worn in everyday life.

      Norige is a woven pendant made of multicolored threads that was widely used to decorate the hanbok by both aristocrats and lower classes. There are many types of norige.

      The Korean national costume lacked pockets, and norige served not only as decoration but also as an opportunity to carry necessary small items. Therefore, in addition to decorative pendants, it often included functional items. These could be boxes for incense, medicines, and the aforementioned earwigs.

      The ojak norige in the museum collection includes a hexagonal box for needles used in acupuncture. Its two opposite sides are decorated with benevolent characters often found in the decoration of traditional household items: "longevity," "happiness," "peace," and "health. The fifth pendant is a small chaddo dagger. The handles and scabbards of such daggers were of rare variety. In this case, the chapdo has the popular Z-shaped shape. During the Joseon period, both men and women wore chapdo. Men attached them to the ties or belts of their robes. Despite its small size, the dagger could be used for self-defense. As part of the no rige, it was perceived as a symbol of women's purity and fidelity and played the role of a talisman.

      Traditional Fans : An Unofficial Accessory for the Hanbok

      The fan became an important attribute of the festival of Tano, celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, which was considered the eve of the summer heat. On that day, the king gave fans to the officials of the capital and provincial governors, who, in turn, sent fans to their subordinates. On this seasonal feast it was customary to give fans to friends. Even today, this humble item is still considered as a beautiful gift in Korea when the Queen Elizabeth II of England visited her country in 1999 and gave her a fan made by the famous Korean craftsman Lee Gidong as a modern example of artistic skill preserving the best national traditions.

      Korean fans, as well as Chinese and Japanese fans, can be divided into two large groups: tansong fans with a flat screen and a handle reinforced in the middle, and folding chopseong fans. Each of these groups includes many varieties that differ in the material from which the fan is made, the shape of the handle and the screen, the ways and motifs of decoration. Fans with a flat screen were mainly used by commoners as well as by women. Men of the upper classes wore folding fans.

      Hanbok Shoes : The Accessory that Finishes the Outfit

      An important role in completing the graceful line of the bottom of the skirt "chima", to them go poson (socks). "Poseon" can be compared to modern socks. Although "poson" are not divided into women's and men's socks, men's "poson" are characterized by straight seams. "Kkotsin" are silk shoes on which floral patterns are embroidered. These shoes play an important role in completing the graceful bottom line of the "chima" skirt.

      Rings and Earrings : Jewelry, always great Accessories

      Rings and earrings were used for hands as jewelry. Usually they had no ornaments and were made quite simply. There was a custom of wearing two rings. They were given by a mother to her daughter as a wedding gift. There were also panji rings, which were single rings. They were worn by young girls. They were created very carefully, with beautiful patterns of flowers, leaves, birds and peaches. They were exchanged between the bride and groom at the time of the betrothal.