“Songpa Sandaenori” was performed by 33 mask performers who were sponsored by Songpa, which was a thriving commercial center. They would perform a mask dance that had 12 acts in the 19th century.
The “Songpa Sandaenori” begins with a lively parade. The parade is a way for the performers to attract merchants and shoppers to their performance. They parade through the market and use a talisman to ward off misfortune. This is their way of wishing everyone in the market good health and fortune.
Before the mask dance begins, the dancers will hold a sacrificial rite before each mask they will wear in the performance. This rite is held to honor the dead and wish them peace.
The “Songpa Sandaenori” is a mask dance that touched the hearts of audiences with its depictions of class conflict and human greed amidst a tightly-woven story set in the background of a thriving commercial center.
This 200-year-old mask dance still appeals to audiences today because it makes people reflect on their values, the pursuit of happiness, and their own mortality.