About Cheoyong

Legend of Cheoyong

Legend of Cheoyong is one of the representative mythology of Ulsan with long tradition of more than 1,000 years. Cheoyong was a mythical hero in the Ulsan region during the time of King Heongang who ruled in Shilla Dynasty and he is described as the son of Dragon-King of the East Sea.

According to the legend, Cheoyong returned home late one night and he became aware of his wife in bed with another man seducing her. Rather than hitting the ceiling, however, he turned the other cheek and went back into the village singing and dancing.

"I admired your wife and committed an improper deed. I was so awed by your virtuous mind that I will never again enter any house that bears your portrait." the god of small pox said.

Since then, Cheoyong's face image, song and dance came to be used as the magical means to prevent contagious diseases and dispel evil spirits. And, the dance has been performed in the national exorcising ritual and was designated as Korean Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 39 in 1971.

“Ulsan Fetes Legend of Cheoyong with Mask Dances” The Chosun Ilbo, Oct. 19, 2013 09:28 KST

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