Ggokdu -Korean wooden bier doll-

My name is Go Jeongmin, and I am a first year student majoring in Korean Studies. Please watch the video I prepared on the topic of Ggokdu.

Related Videos List:

Other student videos related to Korean traditional crafts include one about the past, present, and future of Hanji, one about gamasot, one about beopgo, and one about dancheong.

Sources List:

Photos :


music by Yang Bang Ean – “wish to fly”

Information : Accessed on 11/21/2014.

I interviewed the manager of the “Ggokdurang Hanok” (the hanok’s website is: and you can visit it AM 10:00 to PM 5:00 everyday in Bukchon hanok village), Jeong Minseon to learn more about Ggokdu.

During the second semester, I researched on ggokdu, Korean wooden bier doll. When I first saw ggokdu at Bukchon hanok village, I was impressed by ggokdu’s dynamic expression. I wanted to know more about ggokdu, and I learned ggokdu are like a partner of the dead. Also I got to know only few ggokdu are made now because now almost modern people don’t use bier in their funeral. When I heard that few ggokdu remain and few ggokdu are made nowadays, I feel sad that our Korean looks like to unprotect Korean’s traditional culture.

Because of ggokdu, I can seriously consider about Korean traditional culture’s problem. Lots of Korean traditional culture is disappearing now. I think one reason of this problem is that people don’t use traditional things or live traditionally. The other reason is that people aren’t interested in protecting traditional culture or they don’t know what traditional culture exist.

So I think about the solution that reconciles traditional culture and a modern world. I think traditional culture is not only used when we live traditionally. We can live modern and use traditional things simultaneously. I find the example of my solution in ggokdu. I think we can use ggokdu in our modern funeral though we don’t use bier in our funeral. Ggokdu’s guiding, guarding, caring, and entertaining role can be matched with modern funeral too. Originally ggokdu are used to decorate bier, but I think ggokdu can also decorate a coffin or an urn that people usually use in their modern funeral. I think just stick to same traditional culture is not good for protecting traditional culture. Rather than protect exactly the same traditional culture, change it according to present people’s lifestyle is better to preserve traditional culture.

Also, I think we must learn deeply about our traditional culture from primary school to university. Now, Korean schools just teach limited knowledge about traditional culture when we are in primary school, and it is even finish when we enter middle school. So, students don’t know much about Korean traditional culture, and also they can’t think seriously about traditional culture’s disappear because they don’t know about that. In case of me, I didn’t know about ggokdu before I went to Ggokdurang hanok, which is seeing real ggokdu and listening explanation about ggokdu. From primary school to high school, I never learned anything about ggokdu. But after I knew and learned about ggokdu in Ggokdurang hanok, I feel seriousness about disappearing ggokdu and I can think we should protect our wooden bier doll.

So with teaching continuously, I also think experience our traditional culture is very important. Like ggokdu, it is hard to print lots of photos in one textbook, and it is hard to feel ggokdu’s dynamic expression that just looking some photos. In that case, go to Ggokdurang hanok or ggokdu museum and see lots of real ggokdu can be helpful. We can learn traditional culture by textbook, but experience traditional culture by watching, eating, hearing, smelling, and touching is impressed in our mind easily.

 I want to inform about ggokdu to people, especially Korean. Ggokdu is also our important traditional culture, but Korean don’t know about it or they don’t really think about that. I want to introduce them about ggokdu, so I make a video about ggokdu as specific as possible. If people watch my video and become interested about ggokdu, my purpose is achieved and I think it’s my way to protect our traditional culture.


5 thoughts on “Ggokdu -Korean wooden bier doll-

  1. 대학로에서 꼭두 전시전 하던데?/ 혹시 가보셨나요~~ 재밌네요 저는 꼭두가 전통이 있는지도 몰랐어요~~ 비디오 덕에 많은 걸 알게 됬네요~~ Thank you


  2. 이 동영상을 보기 전에는 꼭두가 무엇인지도 몰랐었는데 이 동영상으로 인해 꼭두에 대해서 자세히 알게되어서 너무 좋아요~ 감사합니다!


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