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Traditional Korean Masks


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Another Apostate Monk | Nojang
Nojang, the Drunkard Monk. Traditional Korean mask.

Mask representing Nojang, the Drunk Monk

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Nojang is another wayward monk. He is usually depicted as a drunkard (note the jaundiced yellow eyes on this particular version), and he also has a weakness for the girls. Nojang is older than Choegwari, so he is represented by a black mask rather than a red one.

In one popular drama, the Lord Buddha sends a lion down from the heavens to punish Nojang. The apostate monk begs for forgiveness and mends his ways, and the lion refrains from eating him. Then, everyone dances together.

According to one theory, the white spots on Nojang's face represent fly-specks. The high monk was so intense in his study of the Buddhist scripture that he did not even notice the flies landing on his face and leaving their "calling-cards." It's a mark of the rampant corruption of the monks (at least in the world of talchum) that even such a focused and devout head monk would fall into depravity.

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