Memory Monday: Korea and California

Back in May of this year I discovered a big stack of matching photo albums while browsing at Denio’s flea market in Roseville. I wasn’t able to learn how they came to be there; and while the photos themselves have little or no background information in the way of captions or notes, as I progress through studying the images I’m slowly getting a better idea about the man who originally owned the albums. The owner of the albums  apparently spent time in the U.S. Air Force, serving in South Korea in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and there are a lot of photos from his time there as well as some photos shot in and around his home town in central California.

One reason these albums caught my interest — aside from the images of South Korea — was that the original owner, Kenneth, seemed to be interested in some of the same things the Big Guy is into, judging from the photos of outdoor scenes, fishing, Chevy trucks, and blacktail deer. He was also clearly a family man; and while I haven’t had any luck thus far in finding relatives, I haven’t yet entirely given up on the idea of returning these albums to someone in his family who might want them. In the meantime, I’d like to share some of the images here, hoping you might find them as interesting as I have.

Although none of these photos have captions, the appearance of rounded hills leads me to believe this shows a portion of the Gyeongju Historic Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the east coast of Korea, listed as one of the ten most important historic sites in the world. The Gyeongju National Park consists of eight separate districts containing not only historic tombs but a museum, an amusement park, mountains, and other beautiful natural scenery.

Below, four images show dancers performing a Pungmul dance. This unique East Asian dance style was added  in November 2014 to UNESCO’s “intangible cultural heritage” list.

Most performances are outside, with dozens of players all in constant motion. Pungmul is rooted in the dure (collective labor) culture. It was originally played as part of farm work, on rural holidays, at other village community-building events, and to accompany rituals, mask dance dramas, and other types of performance. During the late 1960s and 1970s it expanded in meaning and was actively used in political protest during the pro-democracy movement, although today it is most often seen as a performing art — Wikipedia

1 Comment »

Leave a Reply