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A lovely collection of celadon figurines in the shapes of animals, traditional Korean figures, pagodas, and both Buddhist, and Christian religious figures.
Beautifully detailed Korean dolls wearing traditional Korean clothing, Hanbok, as well as historical clothing from the Chosun and Shilla Dynasties.
Hand-carved wood figurines by Korean artisans include wedding ducks and dolls - see the Korean wedding duck story here, Stoneware figures are replicas of those unearthed in Shilla Dynasty burial mounds, while the turtle ship is that used by Admiral Yi Sun-sin to defeat the Japanese - learn more here

THE KOREAN WEDDING DUCK

Selecting the man who will carve a daughter's wedding duck is not an easy task. The man chosen must be a pure and honorable man, as well as a good friend. He must be the fortunate possessor of all of the FIVE FORTUNES. Above all, he must be truly willing and happy to perform the task when asked by his friend. The carving of the traditional wedding duck is a custom not taken lightly, for the man selected to carve the wedding duck shares his spirit and his fortunes with the lucky young couple. The personal traits of the carver (not his ability as a carver) are crucial, because it is his spirit, which enters into the symbol as well as his FIVE FORTUNES which are being shared with the bridal couple.

The carver may not accept money for his work, but rather must agree to carve the duck for the honor of the task. On the other hand, a prudent man must be careful nor to carve more than one duck in his lifetime, for with each duck he shares his own FIVE FORTUNES, and he cannot "share his fortunes" away. This may explain the crudeness and folk quality of some of the carvings. The FIVE FORTUNES of the carver are: 1. He must be rich, 2. He must be perfectly healthy, 3. Among his family (including his relatives) there must have been no divorces, 4. He has to have a "good wife" and 5. He must have many sons.

The significance of the sons is in keeping with the Confucian emphasis on family strength and continuity, but this FORTUNE carries an additional condition. For a man to have five children, but have only two watching him when he dies, means he can count only two children as his real children. He cannot count the others. To have all his children watch him die is part of the FIFTH FORTUNE. The duck-maker applies his whole spirit and energy to his task. While working with his knife, he prays in his heart that, generous portions of true happiness, luck and good fortune will bring peace, prosperity and many children (just as the duck has many eggs) to the bride and groom.

A daughter's wedding is a time of festivities whether the wedding occurs in Mexico, the United States, Europe or the Orient. Each country has its own customs, which make it a special time for the entire family. These times are no less exciting in Korea than in other countries. In Korea, though, a family prepares for this day from early childhood, for this is a special day in the daughter's life.

When it is time for the wedding, the duck must be wrapped with different colors of cloths (except the neck of the duck) and it is carried to the ceremony. The duck is placed on the table as soon as the daughter arrives. When the ceremony is over, the bride and groom bow to the groom's mother and father two and a half times. Then the groom's mother throws the duck to the apron of the bride. If the girl catches the duck, she, according to the tradition, will have a boy as the first child. If she missed, the first child will be a girl.

Next, the groom's mother throws several handfuls of jujubes to the outspread apron of the bride. These are good for the health and are used as a medicine. It symbolizes a healthy future. Finally, the mother of the groom throws some chestnuts to the bride. These are hard and strong and are a symbol of the strong sons to be born. The quantity caught is an omen of good health and many sons.

The duck is carried to the new home of the bridal pair and is displayed where they can easily see it. If the couple quarrels, one will point to the duck, which reminds them of the peaceful wedding, and will stop fighting.

The duck will be handed down from mother to daughter through the generations. The wedding duck symbolizes three things: 1. Peace, 2. Many children, and 3. No separations.

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KOREAN TURTLE SHIP

     The Korean Turtle Ship is the first ironclad warship in the world shaped like a turtle that was invented and built by Admiral YI, SOON SHIN in 1592 (16C).
     During the IM JIN WAR (Korean and Japanese; 1592-1598), under Admiral YI's command, the turtle ships were engaged as the vanguard and brought the seas under their control to lead the country to victory.
     Therefore, the Korean people admire general YI as the most famous Admiral in Korean history, and an original form of the turtle ship was rebuilt and kept by the KOREAN NAVAL ACADEMY in JIN HAE.
     The following are the details about structure of the original turtle ship

Length: 34.2m     Width: lO.3m     Height: 6.4m

     The turtle ship had it's deck made firm with boards from two inches to a foot thick, and it was roofed with iron plates on boards, and numberless spikes on them which prevented the enemy from boarding.
     Although it's crew could look at the enemy from the ship, the enemy could not see into it from outside.
     The bow is shaped after the head of a dragon and the stern the tail of a turtle.
     A gun-port is installed at each end of the dragon head, and six more on each side of the ship. The name turtle ship is derived from the shape.
     It had eight oars on each side and two sails used for maneuvering.
     The masts were designed to stand up or lay down as necessary.
     It had a total of 24 cabins: two were used as storage for iron products and metal works, and three for guns, bows, arrows, spears, swords and other weapons. The rest of the rooms were quarters for the crew.
     In the upper part of the ship were two cabins; one for the captain and the other for the officers.

     REMARKS: The study of world naval history reveals that the turtle ship was the most unique and unquestionably epoch-making invention of the time.

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