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|Hangul||강강술래 or 강강수월래|
|Hanja||姜降戌來 or 强羌水越來|
|Revised Romanization||Ganggangsullae or Ganggangsuwollae|
|McCune–Reischauer||Kanggangsullae or Kanggangsuwŏllae|
Ganggangsullae (Hangul: 강강술래) is a 5,000-year-old Korean dance that was first used to bring about a bountiful harvest and has developed into a cultural symbol for Korea. It incorporates singing, dancing, and playing and is exclusively performed by women. The dance is mostly performed in the southwestern coastal province of Jeollanam-do. It is often associated with the Chuseok holiday and Daeboreum.
The origin and the history of Ganggangsullae is not clear nowadays and there are only prediction about them. As a representative of origin of Ganggangsulae, there are Korean letter origin, Chinese character origin, Korean and Chinese letter origin.
'Gang' of Ganggangsullae means circle, and 'sullae' means a wagon, so totally it means round and round.
It came from the word Ganggangsuallae, which means that powerful barbarian is going to invade our country, which was a chant to make the public to be aware of the enemies.
Origin related to Korean and Chinese character is similar to Korean Letter origin. 'Ganggang' means a round circle, and 'Sullae' comes from Korean letter 'Sunu' and 'Sulla'
The dance is thought to have originated around 5,000 years ago when the Koreans believed that the Sun, Moon, and Earth controlled the universe. Participants would dance under the brightest full moon of the year in order to bring about a good harvest. Ganggangsullae has been held in Korea's most famous festivals like New Year's Day, Daeboreum, Dano, and Chuseok, which was largest at Chuseok. So, Ganggangsullae has become a popular event on Chuseok. On Chuseok's night, dozens of young farming women dance with their hands hold together, singing and dancing.
Korea’s traditional society was a male-dominated society, and young women were not allowed to sing loudly or go out at night. But women were allowed to sing and dance by doing “ganggangsulae” in night and give vent to their frustration at Chusuk. Women could enjoy the atmosphere free from normal restriction at festival.
In the 16th century, during the Japanese invasion of Korea, Admiral Yi Sun-sin ordered women to do this dance in military uniform to intimidate the Japanese. The women were said to have dressed in military uniform and danced on Mount Okmae (옥매산). The Japanese scouts thus overestimated the strength of the Korean troops.
It is the main action of Ganggangsullae, which is spinning counterclockwise.
When holding hands with each other, the back of the right hand should be above, and the palm of the left hand should be above. When walking, the heel should be on the ground first.
People doing 'running' have to run faster than 'walking'. They shouldn't open their legs very much, and they have to raise their knees while running.
Except the first two person, they make a line to be ready to go through the gate. The first and second person makes the gate, and then the right next person who went through the gate makes the gate, while the person who made the gate returns to the line.
Except three people, they stand in a line lowering their heads. One person stands on their waist and starts to walk on them. The other two people holds her hands not to fall down.
Ganggangsullae is often handed down as a frame with Ganggangsullae, and is handed down independently, depending on the region. In this way, the patterns of existence of Ganggangsulrae vary depending on the area, and the meaning given to Ganggangsulla varies according to the region.
On the full moon night, there is a meaning of praying for the abundance and praise of the moon Ganggangsullae. At present, the meaning of the proposal is not strong, but it is presumed that the origin and departure of Ganggangsullae originated from the merit. Ganggangsullae's offerings differ slightly depending on tradition. In other words, in the region considered to be the central part, the quality remains stronger than the peripheral part. For example, steels are not in the periphery. So there is no ceremonial process of going from the Jin Ganggang to the Kang Ganggang.
In the Shinan area, Ganggangsullae is said to have played not only with women's plays but with men and women playing together. It can be said that Ganggangsullae is responsible for the function of mating. It also means praying for the abundance toward the moon.
The well - known Kanggangsullae 's theory of Imjinwaeran remains centered on Jindo and Haenam. During the Japanese invasion of Imjin, women changed their clothes and turned around Ganggangsullae.
In the surrounding area, Ganggangsullae is played as a play song. Heroic weaving, the end of virtue, treadmill tilting, and the birth of a child were also made for educational purposes. It is a representative meaning of Ganggangsullae in the 21st century.
Ganggangsullae is designated as the Intangible Cultural Property No. 8 of Korea. Now Ganggangsullae has become one of the performances. Ganggangsullae is a cultural asset that has a lot of music and power to pass down.
Traditionally, this dance is performed only by women at night without any instruments. Young and old women dance in a circle at night under the moonlight. They go outside in traditional Korean clothing, hold each other's hands, make a circle, and start rotating clockwise. The lead singer sings a line and everyone sings the refrain 'ganggangsullae'. The song tempo progressively becomes faster. They sing about their personal hardships, relationships, and desires. During the dance, the women play a variety of games. The dance can last until dawn.
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