unknownRepublic of Korea/Since the Liberation of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

Che, or sieve, is a tool used to sift powder or liquid, and is also called chi or eolgemi. It was used to separate fine grains after grinding crops using millstone or mortar, or sifting out only liquid from soups with lumps such as soybean paste or liquor. A sieve consists of a frame, an inner rim and the mesh. The frame is made by cutting pine wood into a thin strip and rolling it up into a cylinder, which is fixed by sewing up with kudzu runners, fine roots of pine trees, or thread. The inner rim, which is slightly smaller than the frame, is made to fix the mesh onto the frame. The mesh was usually made of horsehair, hemp cloth, or silk, which was fixed and tightened at the bottom of the frame. The name and purpose differed depending on the size of the holes in the mesh. Each sieve was crafted by hand, and each household was equipped with generally three sieves with different hole sizes, which were hung on the wall. However, sieves have fallen into obsolescence as people began to go to a professional mill or used packaged powder products. Sieves were also hung on the front gate to cast out mischievous spirits. Related proverbs include “A sieve seller only waits for a horse to die,” “Just like sieve sellers gathering around a dead horse,” which refer to those who do not care about other people’s situations and only seek their own interests, such as the hair of a dead horse. “The liquor ripens, and the sieve seller arrives” refers to a situation where everything is going well.

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  • Title: Sieve
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Republic of Korea/Since the Liberation of Korea
  • Location: 한국
  • Physical Dimensions: Height 13.3 Diameter 28
  • Type: Eating/Processing/General Processing/Sieve
  • Medium: Wood