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Posted : 2010-08-01 18:00
Updated : 2010-08-01 18:00

2 folk villages named World Heritage


Two Korean folk villages — Hahoe, left, and Yangdong — have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites during the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee which is taking place in Brasilia, Brazil, from July 26 to Aug. 3. The villages became the nation’s 10th UNESCO-registered treasures.
/ Korea Times file

Hahoe, Yangdong become Korea’s 10th UNESCO treasures

By Chung Ah-young
Staff reporter

Two Korean folk villages — Hahoe and Yangdong — have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites, becoming the nation’s 10th UNESCO-registered treasures.

The World Heritage Committee (WHC) approved the inscription Saturday of the two places — “Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong” — to the World Cultural Heritage list during its 34th session, which is now taking place in Brasilia, Brazil, from July 26 to Aug. 3.

The Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said that the committee highly appreciated the time-honored “living heritage” of the villages that have existed since the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).

In the final review, the committee evaluated that the two villages preserve the unique Confucian culture and traditional residences in harmony with nature and the other ancient buildings.

The review greatly appreciated the villages’ abundant intangible heritage handed down from generation to generation, including academic research and folk customs related to the lives of the residents there.

The committee recommended that the villages should come up with tourism plans by considering the capacity and needs of the locals to continue sustainable conservation of the sites.

The registration process was not easy. The CHA applied for the registration of the villages as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2009. But the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) submitted a report to the WHC in May that the inscription of the sites should be “referred” because of a lack of a comprehensive management system to oversee the two villages that belong to different administrative districts.

The authorities had predicted this and swiftly launched a “historical village preservation committee” to comprehensively manage the sites in association with North Gyeongsang Province and the CHA.

“I am very glad to see our historic villages of Hahoe and Yangdong registered as the World Heritage sites. I will do my best to preserve the villages and their surroundings,” Yi Kun-moo, head of the CHA, was quoted as saying.

Both located in North Gyeongsang Province, Hahoe and Yangdong are the oldest among the extant clan communities that were typical of the Joseon’s villages.

The Hahoe Village is a one clan community of the Pungsan Yu families who settled in the region from the 16th century. Their residences, Confucian school, many other ancient structures and unique folk arts such as mask dances and “byeolsingut,” a shamanist rite, are preserved in harmony with idyllic natural and geographical backdrops.

Located in the city of Gyeongju, the old capital of the Silla Kingdom, Yangdong is a community of the Wolseong Son and Yeogang Yi families who settled there from the 15th century.

The village was designated as Important Folklore Materials No. 189. It retains the social characteristics of the Joseon Kingdom, utilizing an aristocratic class system and traditional culture that have survived over the centuries.

Other UNESCO-registered treasures in Korea are the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks (1995), Jongmyo Shrine (1995), Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple (1995) the Changdeok Palace Complex (1997), Hwaseong Fortress (1997), Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites (2000), Gyeongju Historic Areas (2000), and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Kingdom (2009) and Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes (2007).



하회·양동마을 세계문화유산 등재 확정

안동 하회마을과 경주 양동마을이 유네스코 세계문화유산에 등재됐다. 이로써 한국은 10번째 세계 유산을 보유하게 됐다.

유네스코 세계유산위원회(WHC)는 31일(현지시간) 브라질 브라질리아에서 열린 제34차 회의에서 한국이 신청한 '한국의 역사마을: 하회와 양동(Historic Villages of Korea : Hahoe and Yangdong)'에 대한 세계문화유산(World Cultural Heritage) 등재를 확정했다.

앞서 지난 6월 WHC의 자문기구인 ICOMOS(국제기념물유적협의회)는 WHC에 제출한보고서에서 하회마을과 양동마을에 대해 '보류(refer)' 결정을 내렸으나 WHC는 이를 뒤집고 '등재'를 결정했다.

두 마을의 등재로 한국의 세계유산은 석굴암·불국사, 해인사 장경판전, 종묘(이상 1995년), 창덕궁, 수원 화성(1997년), 경주역사유적지구, 고창·화순·강화 고인돌유적(이상 2000년), 그리고 제주 화산섬과 용암 동굴(2007년), 조선왕릉(2009년)에 이어 통산 10번째 세계유산을 보유하게 됐다.

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