The Costume, the Pattern of Joseon Dynasty: Officials' Ceremonial Attire, Red Jobok

Gyeonggi Provincial Museum

The beauty of Korean clothing

Introduction

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Gyeonggi Provincial Museum, we came up with the special exhibition “The Costume, the Pattern of Joseon Dynasty”. The exhibition, named after the costume and design of the Joseon Dynasty.

“The Costume”consists of five parts: part one is ‘Officials' Ceremonial Attire, Red Jobok’, part two is ‘Officials' Uniform, Black Dallyeong’, part three is ‘Confucian Scholars’ Ceremonial Robe, White Sim-ui’, part four is ‘Women’s Ceremonial Robe, Green Wonsam’, and the last part shows ‘Men and Women’s Vest, Baeja’. And also, discolored costumes from the original attire were splendidly recreated by Korean costume professionals.

In “The Pattern”, one of the relics in the Gyeonggi Provincial Museum, displays the various and distinctive patterns of Joseon Dynasty, through which our ancestors pursued beauty and their desires to express due courtesy with full dress code including a variety of designs.

We sincerely hope that you can feel and appreciate the beauty of Korean clothing in a new light.

1.Officials' Ceremonial Attire, Red Jobok
Jobok was the most formal and splendid attire for officials. The harmony of red and gold color reflected its beauty and dignity. Officials wore the special costume on national events such as royal ancestral rites, New Year's Day, on the winter solstice, and on the promulgation of royal edicts. The attire consisted of more than 10 items: Yang-gwan, Eui, Sang, Jung-dan, Pye-seul, Su, Dae, Pae-ok, Mal, Hwa, Hol, etc. 

Eui

Jobok is worn at large national events, and Eui, Sang, Pye-seul, Hu-su, and Daedae were excavated as a whole at the Kwon Woo grave. The discovery of Jobok as an excavated artifact is rare, so it is significant in the study of costume history. The red top has a wide sleeve, the side is open, and a blue or black line is wrapped around the collar, trim, and cuff. According to the records, the fabric was composted of dense silk materials such as Jeokra or Jeokcho, but this artifact used a fine silk.

Sang

The top is one layer, the collar is a shaved Mokpan collar, and the Dongjeong used silk with plaid and flower patterns. The sleeves are wide, and the side is open below the armhole. There is a coat string, and there is a loop to hook a Daedae on the part above the armpit on the back piece.

Pye-seul, Hu-su

It is a red skirt worn under the top. It is made of plain-patterned silk, and the string is silk. Blue or black silk was attached to the edge of the skirt. The front width of the skirt is 101.5cm and the back width 165cm, and 2cm from the front and back were overlapped to be attached on one side of the waist. Pye-seul, hung below the front waist, and Hu-su, hung under the back waist, are threaded on a single belt. Pye-seul has 10 treasure patterns embroidered on it, and it attracts attention as the only artifact of an official's Pye-seul with embroidery. Pye-seul was gradually simplified to be formally stitched on the chest part of the top, coming to be called Pye-heung. Hu-su was embroidered with 2 pairs of birds and a cloud pattern in between. The bird patterns of Hu-su is usually Woonhak, but the artifact excavated from the Kwon Woo grave is unique in that it has a snowy egret, characterized by a feather decoration on its head, embroidered on it. The lowermost part of the Hu-su was decorated with a blue net.

Daedae

Daedae, a belt, was separated into three pieces, and it is presumed to have been a ⊓ shape originally. Fabric is inserted in between the stitch lines on the outside of the Daedae, looking like a thin line. String is attached to both sides of the upper part of Daedae, and it is intended to be wrapped around the waist and tied from the front.

Geumgwan, , Official's Coronet

It is called 'Geumgwan' signifying a coronet coated with gold, and called 'Geumgwan Jobok' together with Jobok. It is comprised of Yang which covers the crown of the head, Mokjam which is an ornamental hairpiece, and Young which is a strap. The gold line, a vertical decoration attached to the center of the black coronet, is different depending on rank, and 1st rank has 5 lines, 2nd rank has 4 lines, 3rd rank has 3 lines, 4th~6th ranks have 2 lines, and 7th rank and below have 1 line. This coronet is a 5-line coronet, produced in modern day.

Belt for Court Dress

It is a Poomdae made of rhino horn, worn by 1st rank officials. A total of 20 decorations were attached to the lacquered belt, with fabric that was coated on leather. On the front center of the Seodae is 'Samtae' which is for opening and closing, and 6 waterdrop-shaped 'Nam-du-yook-sung' decorations, 3 on each side. Behind are the rectangular 'Jwabo' and 'Woopil', a flower-shaped golden decoration, and 'Tami' decoration which has a rectangular front and a round back, and on the back are 7 rectangular 'Buk-du-chil-sung' decorations. The band was differentiated by rank, and 1st rank was Seodae, 2nd rank was Geumdae (gold band), 3rd~4th ranks were Eundae (silver band), and 5th rank and below were Heukgakdae (black band).

Pae-ok, Ornamental Jade

It is a Poomdae made of rhino horn, worn by 1st rank officials. A total of 20 decorations were attached to the lacquered belt, with fabric that was coated on leather. On the front center of the Seodae is 'Samtae' which is for opening and closing, and 6 waterdrop-shaped 'Nam-du-yook-sung' decorations, 3 on each side. Behind are the rectangular 'Jwabo' and 'Woopil', a flower-shaped golden decoration, and 'Tami' decoration which has a rectangular front and a round back, and on the back are 7 rectangular 'Buk-du-chil-sung' decorations. The band was differentiated by rank, and 1st rank was Seodae, 2nd rank was Geumdae (gold band), 3rd~4th ranks were Eundae (silver band), and 5th rank and below were Heukgakdae (black band).

Hol, Scepter

Hol is a small and long plate held in the hand when wearing the Jobok, and was intended for recording in case the orders or commands of the king were forgotten, but was institutionalized for ceremonial use during later times. According to 『Gyeongguk Daejeon』1485, 1st~4th ranks used ivory, and 5th~9th ranks used wooden Hol, and this system was maintained until the late Joseon Dynasty. This Hol is made of ivory, the middle part is slightly curved, and the lower part held by the hand is wrapped in blue silk.

King Heon-jong's Wedding Ceremony, Folding Screen

This is a scene of the event congratulating the wedding between King Heon-jong and his second wife, Hyo-Jeonghu, in 1844, and is a precious reference on which the formal attire of officials during late Joseon Dynasty can be seen. The folding screen is comprised of a total of 8 pieces, and the Jobok attire of civil and military officials is concentrated on 5 pieces. It can be seen centered on the main hall in front of the royal throne inside the main palace, a pedestal outside the palace, and the royal path below the stairs, on the front 3 rows of the ranked seats where civil officials sit on the right and military officials sit on the left.

On the other hand, on the back 3 rows, officials can be seen wearing a Samo, a Dallyeong with Hyungbae, and wrapped in a Poomdae, and it can be seen that this follows the prescription of 『Guk-jo-sok-oh-rye-ui』1744 that 1st~4th ranks wear Jobok and 5th~9th ranks wear black Dallyeong. The Jobok attire seen in the portrait has the official wearing a Yang-gwan fastened with a Mokjam, a red Eui and a Daedae around the waist, hanging Pae-ok on both sides of the waist, and holding a Hol. The depiction was rather simplified, with the number of decorations on the Yang-gwan and the embroidery of the Hu-su not being visible.

Gyeonggi Provincial Museum
Credits: Story

The exhibition 'The costume, the Pattern of Joseon Dynasty' consists of five parts. Explore more about 'officials' uniform and black dallyeong' in the second part.

Director : Jun, Bo Sam
Exhibition planning : Kim, Joon Kwon / Jeong, Mi Sook
Exhibition support : Lee, Sung Jun / Hur, Mee Hyung / Lee, Ji Hee / Jo, Hyun Yi /
Lee, Young Eun / Jeon, Ik Whan / Heo, Jung Ae / Sim, Kyeong Bo / Lee, Suck Ju / Pak, Young Hee / Choi, Yong Hak / Kim, Choong Sun

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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