The Chang Budeok Memorial Gallery Special Exhibition Of Ewha Womans University 130th Anniversary

By Ewha Womans University Museum

Ewha Womans University Museum The Chang Budeok Memorial Gallery

Poster of 'SHOES' (2016/2016)Ewha Womans University Museum


Traditional footwear in Korea is roughly divided into hwa, shoes with a high neck and derivative from the mounted nomadic tribes in the north, and ri, low shoes that were developed from the agricultural areas in the south. Records on Korean footwear appear since ancient textual references. According to the Annals of Three Kingdoms, leather shoes were worn in Buyeo and straw shoes in Mahan. And shoes of Goguryeo can be found in ancient tomb murals, which depict people wearing hwa and ri regardless their class or gender. Since the Joseon dynasty, hwa were established as the footwear worn by noblemen with official or military uniforms, and ri, commonly called hye, were worn for daily use by both men and women. Unlike clothing, footwear was produced by professional artisans, and the exquisite shapes of shoes allow us to glimpse at their deft craftsmanship. In this exhibition, Joseon’s traditional footwear is displayed showing a variety of pieces. As we witness how footwear completed an outfit in harmony with the clothing, we will be able to appreciate the beauty of traditional Korean attire and better understand the lifestyles of our ancestors.

Mid-calf Length Boots for Official (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Ceremonial Shoes

Mokhwa are shoes with necks, worn with official uniforms. In the Goryeo dynasty, hwa were worn with official uniforms, and in the Joseon dynasty, with official uniforms, and daily official clothing. Literature from the Joseon dynasty features various names of hwa such as heukpihwa or suhwaja, indicating that there were a variety of hwa according to the wearer’s social class and materials and types of the shoes. During national mourning, baekhwa, or white hwa, were put on with a white official’s robe. Jehye refer to ritual shoes worn by officials with ceremonial attire when performing ancestral rites.

Men's Shoes for Ritual Ceremonies Men's Shoes for Ritual Ceremonies (1901/1910)Ewha Womans University Museum

Jehye, Men's Shoes for Ritual Ceremonies
1901 - 1910

Jehye, or ritual shoes, were covered with cotton flannel, felt, or silk in blue shades on the outer rim with the toplines decorated with white deerskin. One pair of ritual shoes were attached with thick lines of white deerskin at the tips. One of the features of jehye is the ornamental thread attached at the tips, which gives the shoes a pleated appearance. Rings were attached to the sides and at the heels to allow for fastening.

Mid-calf Length Boots for Official (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Mokhwa, Mid-calf length boots for official
1801 - 1900

Shoes for official uniforms with the outside covered in dark blue cotton and the inside covered with white cotton. The toplines were edged in white leather with a pale blue collar below. The thin soles were curled at the tips. At the center of the tips are holes for stringing thread.

Shoes for Men Shoes for Men (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Daily Shoes for Men

Hye are low-cut shoes, which are distinguished by materials or decorations. Different Hye were worn according to gender and class of the wearer. Taesahye, or shoes with a taesa pattern, are representative unoiled leather shoes for men. They are a type of luxurious shoe with the outer rim covered with silk. The tips and heels of Taesahye were decorated with a striped pattern called taesa in colors different from that of the outer rim. Young people wore shoes with a taesa pattern with an outer rim in green or light green and decorated in red or dark blue. Heukhye are shoes made of black leather, velvet, or wool, which were worn for daily attire as well as with official uniforms for special occasions and ceremonial attire in Gyeonggukdaejeon. Nokpihye are shoes made of deerskin, mostly simple unoiled leather shoes without decorations. They were usually worn by elder noblemen. 

Black Shoes for Men (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Heukhye, Black Shoes for Men
1801 - 1900

Heukhye made of black velvet. White leather was used for the toplines, lining, and inner heel caps. No cotton flannel or fur was put on the insoles so as to reveal the white leather. The front and back of the soles were nailed with seven hobnails each.

Shoes for Men Shoes for Men (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Taesahye, Shoes for Men
1901 - 1940

Taesahye, of shoes with a taesa pattern in which the outer rim of the shoes was covered with patterned ivory silk fabric and decorated with a purple silk taesa pattern. The color on the top and bottom sides of the outer rim was same with that of the decorative patterns on the toes and the heels, while white leather was used for the toplines, lining, and inner heel caps. Tips were decorated with two lines of thread and the heels were covered with white leather instead of decorative thread. The insoles were covered with fur and the front and back of the soles were nailed.

Shoes for MenEwha Womans University Museum

Shoes for Women Shoes for Women (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Daily Shoes for Women

Danghye are decorated with colorful cloth in a vine pattern at the tips and heels as in taesahye. The toe-caps and the backs of unhye were in different colors from the outer rim, and finished with bamboo-leaf and larva-shaped ornaments. These danghye and unhye are known as shoes for women, but literary records reveal many cases in which they were also worn by men. Heukhye for women have plain tips without colorful cloth decorations. Onhye are winter footwear with cotton flannel or fur.

Shoes for Women Shoes for Women (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Unhye, Shoes for Women
1901 - 1940

The outer rims were made of silk with flower and butterfly patterns where the shop name “東一鞋店(Dong-il shoe shop)” was printed. The top and heel caps were decorated with red silk, and dark blue bamboo leaf and larva ornaments were attached to the tips of the toe and heel caps, respectively. White leather was used for the toplines and inner heel caps, and cotton flannel was used for the lining and insoles. The front and back of the soles were nailed.

Shoes for WomenEwha Womans University Museum

Shoes for Women Shoes for Women (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Danghye, Shoes for Women
1801 - 1900

Red floral-patterned silk fabric was used for the outer rims, and green silk was used for the vine pattern and the top and lower sides of the outer rims. The tip of the toe was decorated by two lines and the heel was finished with white leather. The unusually pointy vine pattern on the heel makes this pair stand out from common danghye. The front and back of the soles were nailed.

Clogs (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Clogs · Oiled Shoes

Namaksin, or wooden shoes, were worn on rainy days or on the muddy ground. They would be worn on sunny days, especially by poor scholars. The original clogs were in the shape of a board with heels attached, and the form of hye was established after the middle of the Joseon period. Men's Namaksin were similar to Taesahye, while women's had narrow, upturned tips of the shoes. The footwear was made of a variety of woods such as pine, basswood, or chestnut. Yuhye were shoes worn to protect from rain and mud; they were made of leather oiled with perilla oil to keep water from permeating, from which the name yuhye (yu refers to oil) originates. They were also called jinsin because they were worn against the muddy ground (jin means muddy), or jingsin for being nailed on the bottom (jing means nail).

Rain Shoes for Men (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Hye, Rain Shoes for Men
1801 - 1900

Oiled leather shoes in a unique shape. The tips are wide and the outer rims are high. As the lines of the leather have been stitched together at the waist of the shoes, there are no seams at the tip and the heel. The upper and lower parts of the outer rim are fixed by stitching with thin leather straps. Larger than ordinary shoes, it is assumed these were used as overshoes.

Rain Shoes for Women Rain Shoes for Women (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Yuhye, Rain Shoes for Women
1901 - 1940

Oiled leather shoes for women in the shape of danghye with slightly curved tips. Leather used on the outer rim and the dark-colored vine pattern lends a graceful touch. The soles were evenly nailed.

Rain Shoes for WomenEwha Womans University Museum

Clogs (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Namaksin, Clogs
1801 - 1900

Namaksin, or wooden clogs made of basswood. The shoes are red and glossy, having been varnished with lacquer along with red dye. The sleek, curved tip makes for an impressive design while two long lines are engraved from the tips to the side of the shoes.

Clogs (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Namaksin, Clogs
1801 - 1900

Namaksin, or wooden clogs for children made of pine tree. It has low heels, with small cute flowers engraved at the tips.

Sedge Shoes Sedge Shoes (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Straw Shoes

The origin of chohye goes as far back as the Samhan period, at around the first century. The shoes were made from the dried stalks of various plants, but the most widely worn were straw shoes, jipsin, especially among common folk. There were also shoes called mituri, which were made by tightly weaving fine hemp fibers and worn by women or scholars on fine days. Other high quality shoes were made using various materials, including sedge, mulberry, hanji (Korean mulberry paper), and leather.

Straw Shoes Straw Shoes (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Chohye, Straw Shoes
1901 - 1940

Straw shoes with four core ropes woven to the sole. The heel strap was strengthened by weaving paper mulberry bark, and the shoe strap was tied with a knot in the middle so the shoe would not easily come off. The wooden shoe frames-the ones in the front, the rear, and the wedge-remain intact.

Sedge ShoesEwha Womans University Museum

Chohye, Sedge Shoes
1801 - 1900

Sedge shoes with soles woven by using four core ropes. Tough stems were used for the cords so that outer edges were strengthened, and basswood was coiled to the top straps at the front and the back for fastening. The center of the soles was decorated with one red and one green line.

Sedge Shoes Sedge Shoes (1801/1900)Ewha Womans University Museum

Wooden shoe frame (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Tools for production

Shoemakers used various kinds of materials and tools in the process of making footwear such as cutting cloth, stitching, and adding decorative patterns. Basic materials included various kinds of leather and silk, and multiple layers of cotton or hemp cloth glued together, along with silk and cotton thread for stitching. Shoemaking tools were a shoe pattern, a knife for cutting leather, an awl and a needle for sewing, and a brazier for boiling glue or heating an iron. After making a shoe, singol, or a wooden shoe frame, was put into the shoe to hold its shape. The wooden shoe frame consists of a front block, a back block, and a wedge, and a hammer was used when hitting the frame.

Mold for Making Shoes (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Singol, Mold for Making Shoes
1901 - 1940

Shoe frame for shaping a shoe. The back of the frame was angled at ninety degrees like a human ankle. The frame was made by winding strings along the core.

Wooden shoe frame (1901/1940)Ewha Womans University Museum

Singol, Wooden shoe frame
1901 - 1940

The wooden shoe frame is a tool for shaping a shoe and fixing its shape for a certain period of time after making the shoe. The frame was generally made by cutting out wood according to the shape of the wearer’s foot.

'SHOES' Exhibition 'SHOES' Exhibition (2016/2016)Ewha Womans University Museum

The Chang Budeok Memorial Gallery 

The Chang Budeok Memorial Gallery of Ewha Womans University, which opened on May 31, 1999, provides exhibition space for the personal collection of some 5,000 items donated by Chang Sook Hwan, professor of the Department of Clothing and Textiles of the Arts College. Prof. Chang has built her collection for almost 40 years, beginning with the relics she was handed down by her mother, Chang Budeok (1908-1967), pen-named Damin, after whom the Gallery was named. The collection consists largely of ornaments used by men and women during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), along with clothing, embroidery and furniture. These articles, used mainly by people of the royal household and the upper class, are things we have rarely had the opportunity to see. Radiant with the refined and graceful sense of beauty of the upper echelons of society, they hold both artistic and historical value. 

Credits: Story

Organized by the Chang Budeok Memorial Gallery of Ewha Womans University Museum

Directed by Chang Sook-whan

Curated by Kwak Kyung-hee, Song Su-jin, Kim Jeong-min

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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