Korea

You see the pictures of Korean braiding stands from time to time. The hard core Korean knot tyers braid their own cord. It's a beautiful piece of machinery and just as a sculptural object, nifty looking. I have yearned after one for years.

ruyi in black edged whiteI was working on the main page for the mystic knot and decided that I really needed to have my own illustration of the ru-yi knot (如意, rúyì, halfway between a 장고매듭, jang-go-mae-deup, and a 가지방석매듭, ga-ji-bang-seong-mae-deup). ga-ji-bang-seong-mae-deupjang-go-mae-deup

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Knot in Korean (romanized), maedup or maedeup. Po-tae-toe po-tah-toe or more accurately Beijing vs Peking. I first saw it as maedup and still see it as that from time to time, it's shorter, I like short. Brevity is good. When I'm copying something down and it's written as maedeup, I'll copy it that way though. So, no consistency. Sorry.

But, knot in Korean (Hangeul) is 매듭. No confusion there.

Traditional knot: 전통매듭 jeon-tong-mae-deup

In the translation grid below, I'm leaving the "maedeup" off of the Korean romanization (MCT), "knot" or "매듭" off of names from time to time to keep the table as compact as I can without excessive ambiguity. Consider them implied if they're not there. 8) Also, if the romanization has dashes in it, I probably got it from an online conversion tool, if it doesn't, then I got it from one of my books.

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Knots vs Fancy KnotsI had just finished going through a big stack of videos that I had found on youku, a youTube-like site in China (search for Chinese knotting:中国结 and knotting art:结艺) when my knot (매듭 in Korean) search brought me a practical knot result. That's ok. I've got nothing against practical things and it's not like that automated search turns up many results in general, but it got me to thinking, how to refine this search to produce a more focused decorative result? Taking another look at Kim Hee-Jin's maedup site and Korean Traditional Knots and started parsing down this string "한국의 전통매듭" which as a string translates to "Korea's traditional knot". Previously, I had determined that "매듭" means "knot" so that left the "전통" part. Traditional, eh?

"한국의" translates as "South Korea" and "국의" translates as "country". I should not have been surprised that none of the individual parts translated as "south" which is apparently "남쪽". 8)

South Korean ssamzisarang has been posting videos about Korean culture. They look somewhat like short segments from TV (interstitials?), but original or not, the video compression was dialed way up, at least on the good luck (chrysanthemum) knot video. The soundtracks on the videos are kinda distracting which makes me think that they are not professional productions, but I could easily be wrong.

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Feeling unequal to the task of dealing with my massive backlog of links that I need to post at the time, I decided to fiddle with the blog itself. I put in a blogroll on the side, and a Google gadget to translate the page for people who would like a translation (I didn't read the source code before I included it, bad, Carol!, I wonder if the readers need enough English to read the "Google Translate" part... 8). I'm going to try it to see if it will translate all the non-English bits that are in this post into English. 8)

In any case, I was noticing that after the first few, the postings some of the blogs (while the content might be nice) were posted to very infrequently, at least of late (I should talk, eh?).

But, these topics, I would hope, are ones that could be covered in China/Taiwan, Korea, and Japan with probably greater skill, enthusiasm and local appreciation (not to mention other fun places like Singapore and the like).

My current automated searches were not turning up things that are not written in English, so could I, could I....?

Articles
A. G. Lindsay writes an article about how to finish your braids (15 pages).
http://www.weavershand.com/kumiendings1.pdf (via)

Events
A see and share style event in Montreal on April and I couldn't go. 8( But at least we can see the pictures.
http://picasaweb.google.ca/michellebeauvais/April252009?authkey=Gv1sRgCL...

Blogs
The math behind maypole braids
http://divisbyzero.com/2009/05/04/the-maypole-braid-group/

Dogs and kumihimo don't mix. The sensitive may want to avert their eyes.
http://tapestrybeads.blogspot.com/2009/05/winston-tried-kumihimo-today.html

About the Korean (dahoe) origins of kumihimo.
http://pearl.livejournal.com/348806.html

A bit more detail on the same.
http://themaedupshop.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/traditional-korean-cords/

A lengthy introduction/summary on kumihimo from an SCAer studying the topic.
http://beadybunch.org/?p=175

Glass bead artist, Dora Schubert takes up kumihimo and tells us all about it.
http://doraschubert.blogspot.com/2009/05/its-already-may.html

Notes: Cord braiding and silk knotting arrived with the Chinese Lolang colony in northwestern Korea in approximately 10 BCE. Integration of decorative knots as a part of traditional Korean dress seems to have happened during the Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE - 668 CE). Decorative knotting evolved in the hands of fishermen and textile artisans in the general population until the late 19th-early 20th centuries when royal norigae artisans under pressure to create newer, different, better, and more did exactly that.

Text: Cord and knot arts arrived with a Chinese colony in Korea in 10 BCE.

Maedup flowered under the royal norigae artisans in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

a Korean dress (hanbok) tie pendant, norigae

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