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Upper body garment made of bright yellow and red shiny fabric lined with red nylon transparent fabric. The long sleeves are deeply inset with seams curving outwards towards the underarms, and are made of brocade woven in stripes in six different colours parallel to the body of the garment. Embellished with flowers, bats, butterflies, and stylized Chinese characters woven in red. The seam of the sleeves, under the arms, has a pronounced convex curve narrowing to the wrist. The body of the garment curves downwards to the centre front and back. It opens at the front. The front panels overlap to the right when closed and fasten with long ribbon ties made of the same fabric as that at the wrist. The left panel and the centre back seam are edged with red piping. The lower point of the left panel has an appliquéd motif in red approximately the shape of a heart with pink flowers and green stems embroidered above. A phoenix facing the centre of the garment is embroidered on each side with multicoloured thread. Red panels are inserted under each arm. The garment has a deep V neck outlined with an appliquéd red facing outlined in black piping, as are the seams attaching the sleeves. There is also a narrow facing or collar of white fabric.

History Of Use

Such “Jo-go-ri”, made of synthetic fabrics and with very rounded rainbow “saek-dong” sleeves, were worn by girls and women on festivals and other special occasions in the late 1960s. A girl might wear such clothing on her first birthday. The red appliqué at the lower front corner was very popular then. By this time the rainbow “saek-dong” sleeves were made of fabric woven in stripes, rather than being pieced as they had been previously. The Korean textile industry had developed to the point that it could produce such fabrics by this time. By the late 1960s, Korean people generally wore simple clothing so that they could work more efficiently. During the 18 years that Park, Chong-hee was president, the transformation of South Korea from an agricultural country to an industrial one was accomplished, and people were urged to work hard. In compensation, people wore elaborate clothing on special occasions. The jackets “Jo-go-ri were decorated with machine embroidery at that time, but not now, and the sleeves and inset panels added decorative elements more elaborate than those used before or since. Graceful curves, like those at the lower edge of this garment, are important in Korean aesthetics and reflected in various forms, including architecture. Clothing of this kind was made in markets, and the relatively rough finishing, with the fabrics folded inside at the seams, is typical of that work.

Specific Techniques

The garment is machine sewn except for the stitches attaching the white collar, which are done by hand.

Iconographic Meaning

The orchid represents nobility and purity for a female child. The phoenix represents life without end.

Item History

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