Daemokjang, traditional wooden architecture
Inscribed in 2010 (5.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Country(ies): Republic of Korea
- Daemokjang, traditional wooden architecture
The term ‘Daemokjang’ refers to traditional Korean wooden architecture and specifically to the woodworkers who employ the traditional carpentry techniques. The activities of these practitioners also extend to the maintenance, repair and reconstruction of historic buildings, ranging from traditional Korean houses to monumental wooden palaces and temples. The Daemokjang are in charge of the entire construction process, including the planning, design and construction of buildings, and the supervision of subordinate carpenters. The wooden structures created by Daemokjang are smooth, simple and unadorned – distinctive features of traditional Korean architecture. The traditional construction processes require both technical skills to design the building with consideration to its size, site and function, and aesthetic sense to select the lumber for the construction materials, cut and shape the wood, and assemble and interlock the separate wooden pieces without using nails, creating the so-called ‘joints that withstand a millennium’. The know-how of Daemokjang has been handed down from generation to generation and takes decades of education and field experience to master. In working to restore monumental buildings using traditional techniques, Daemokjang practitioners reinterpret the beauty of traditional architecture with their artistic creativity and re-create it with their technical skills.
Decision 5.COM 6.36
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: Daemokjang, traditional wooden architecture is recognized as part of the cultural identity of the Republic of Korea and safeguarded by way of transmission from generation to generation;
- R.2: Inscription of the element on the Representative List could contribute to the visibility of intangible cultural heritage and promote respect for human creativity and ingenuity;
- R.3: The nomination describes current and recent efforts to safeguard the element, particularly through transmission and public demonstrations, which will continue with the support of practitioners, non-governmental organizations and the State;
- R.4: The nomination was elaborated with the cooperation of the community of Daemokjang artisans, and contains evidence of their free, prior and informed consent;
- R.5: Daemokjang, traditional wooden architecture was designated in 1982 as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Division of the Cultural Heritage Administration.
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