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Dopoje tug-of-war

Dopoje tug-of-war
It was a folk play performed in the Dopo village of Yeongam County. It originated from Fengshui, the theory of Water, Wind and Earth. East Dopo and West Dopo compete in a tug of war to suppress the ground. It consists of six Madang's, i.e. Gilnori, Jinnori, Gogeori, Jesa (religious sacrifice), Gyeoljeon (decisive battle), and Daedong Madang. Combining rituals for worshiping of celestial gods, the narrative drama of shooting arrows and simulated tug of war play, this great folk festival won the President's award for the national folk art competition.

Outline of the event

  • Name : Dopoje tug-of-war
  • Classification : Folk Religion/Communal Folk Beliefs
  • Time : 5th day of the first month of the year of the lunar calendar and seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar
  • Place : Dopo-ri, Dopo-myeon, Yeongam County (town plaza)
  • Frequency : twice a year

Origin and Pungsu narrative

There is no literature proving the origin of the "Je Juldarigi" (Tug-of-war game) contests that have been traditionally held in Dopo village of Dopo-myeon, Yeongam County, but word of mouth has it that 150 years ago the site of the village looked like a pig, so according to Fengshui, the theory of Water, Wind and Earth, a Cheonjedan had to be installed at the Bamgusihyeol. Then it was advised that a ritual should be held on January 15 and July 7 of every year for the purpose of improving the force ('chi") of the site.

Furthermore, the story concerning the "Je Tug-of-war" is very interesting. The site of the village resembles a pig, the lion mountain is in the west and the tiger mountain is in the north. So to fight off the power of these ferocious beasts, a sacrificial ritual is performed for the celestial gods. Warriors shoot arrows at the tiger and lion mountains in the narrative ritual. Then, East Dopo and West Dopo conclude the event by competing in the tug-of-war to suppress the earth.