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The Five Surviving P’ansori Repertoires: Themes, Issues and the Connection to India

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Chapter Summary

P'ansori is traditional Korean folk music. P'ansori is a refined art of storytelling that uses folk tales and fables that have been handed down orally from teacher to student over generations. The perceived value of p'ansori is reflected in the high national and international honours it has achieved, such as having been proclaimed Important Intangible Cultural Asset number five in Korea in 1964, and a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2003. This chapter describes the core socio-cultural messages of the surviving five madang (repertoires), namely Ch'unhyangga, Shimch' ŏngga, Hŭngbuga, Sugungga and Chŏkpyŏkka. The renowned Professor of Indian History Lee Kwangsu suggests deep cultural connections between Korea and India. The shared heritage of Buddhism is not only a religious and social connection but involves other areas. There are possible similarities and relationships between the 547 Jataka Tales and p'ansori stories, especially the Sugungga.

Keywords: Buddhism; India; Korea; Lee Kwangsu; P'ansori; Sugungga; UNESCO



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