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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Figure representing a person on a flat backing of white paper. Front view is depicted of the figure which is made of cloth lightly padded to give a three-dimensional effect having each portion made of a separate piece of cloth with painted details. Hands are made of paper. Face is made of white silk. Figure's right arm is raised to support a large grey bundle or pot on the head. Wearing a short blue-green cotton blouse fastened on the right with a ribbon of the same, a white cotton ankle-length skirt fastened under the arms with ribbon of the same, white cotton trousers, and straw sandals. Two pieces of white flannel hemmed with light red-pink silk thread are glued to the paper backing.

History Of Use

Figure represents married woman from late 19th to early 20th century. Korean woman usually carry loads on their heads. Such figures were made during the time when Korea was first open to the outside world (after the mid 1890s), probably as gifts to present to missionaries or other visitors from foreign countries. Flat dolls like these were very popular during the period 1910-20. Before that time, shamans made dolls that they sold to their clients, as images of those the clients wanted to exorcise. Simple dolls were made of straw for children to play with. After Korea opened, people began to see dolls as artistic objects. They were made in workshops by masters, using authentic fabrics whenever possible, as their purpose was to introduce foreigners to Korean society.
Women of the ordinary class wore relatively simple clothes and did outdoor work, such as carrying water, unless the fact that they had a baby, especially a son, allowed them to stay at home, or at least to do less work.


Collected by J. H. Morris while he was chief engineer for Seoul Railway, Korea.

Specific Techniques

The clothing was stitched around the edge and then a layer was added inside the clothing. Each section was separately applied and pasted in place. The details were finely painted.

Iconographic Meaning

The clothes on this figure show that she is of ordinary class, as does the work she is doing, which is carrying water in a ceramic jar, balanced on a straw ring on her head. Her skirt ”Chi-ma” is shorter than that of a woman of higher class and is made of cotton rather than silk, and she wears straw shoes “Jip-shin”. The fact that she is a married woman is indicated by her hair pin, “Bi-nyeo”, which shows at the back of her neck.

Item History

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