Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Korean Mint Issues 3rd And Final "Traditional Folk Games" Silver Coin

October 16, 2009: The Korean Mint has concluded its 3 coin silver proof series dedicated to traditional folk games with this stunning 99.9% precious metal release honoring the tug-of-war game known as Yeongsan Juldarigi (Tug-of-war of Yeongsan). This final coin comes after the 2007 Mask Dance and the 2008 Ganggangsullae (Circle Dance) silver issues.

Korea 2009 20000KRW Tug Of War Of Yeongsan Silver Proof

Yeongsan Juldarigi is given its name on account of the game being performed mainly in the agricultural village of Yeongsan in the South Gyeongsang Province of the Korean Peninsula. The tug-of-war game is listed as one of the Important Intangible Cultural Properties, aspects of intangible culture that the government of South Korea has officially designated for preservation. It is played with members of the village as a way of praying for a plentiful harvest. It is regarded as a farming ceremony originally held on the 15th of the New Year according to the lunar calendar. These days, however, it is held as one of events marking the March 1 Independence Movement.

Yeongsan Juldarigi is played by dividing the village into East and West. The two sides represent man and woman respectively, although the game itself does not pit one gender against the other. Tradition has it that if the West (women) win the tug-of-war then a bountiful harvest will be had that year. The rope is quite large and too thick to pull, so side ropes are attached so that many people can help pull from either side. To stop the rope being cut it is underpinned by a large tree stump called a Binaemok. The leader then rides on the rope and commands order, at which time the tug-of-war begins and local farm music bands add to the fun with upbeat music. You can see video footage of the tug-of-war here (Requires Quicktime)
Featured on the obverse of this coin is the image of people performing the tug-of-war game, with the underpinned Bi-nyeo-mok in the foreground. The leader can be seen standing on the rope commanding his people to pull. On the reverse is a scene from the village involving townspeople carrying the rope in the background, while in front is a music band beating on drums before the beginning of the game. This side also carries the face value of 20,000 Korean Won (KRW), as well as the year of issue.

The coin is presented in an official case.

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